Since her star-making turn as Effie in 2006's Dreamgirls, which took her from American Idol also-ran to Academy Award winner, Jennifer Hudson has left no doubt that she could crush a big ballad. Now on her third album, JHUD (Sept. 23, RCA), the singer-actress flips the script, hitting the dance floor with beats by Pharrell (who produced three tracks) and assists from R. Kelly, Iggy Azalea and T.I. As she gets her new groove on, the Chicago native, 33, dishes on her dream role, going gospel and being sick of singing that song.
You worked with Pharrell on JHUD. How did he connect with you as a producer?