Jennifer Hudson's name has graced an Oscar and a Grammy, but the Chicago native said she never imagined her name would be on a weight loss centre that she could use to inspire others.
The singer and actress stopped in her home town for the opening of The Weight Watchers Jennifer Hudson Centre. Jennifer, who has herself lost about 80 pounds, is a spokeswoman for the company.
The new centre, where walls are covered with posters of the svelte star, is in a mall on Chicago's South Side, not far from President Barack Obama's home.
"I never thought I would make it to have my own centre," said Jen, who wore a fitted, ruffled black dress and high-heeled studded black boots. "I'm so honoured to be here and see this day."
Weight Watchers had pledged to donate a portion of the centre's revenue to a foundation that the star co-founded in honour of her late nephew, Julian King.
The body of the seven-year-old was found in a vehicle a few days after Hudson's mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were found dead in the family's Chicago home in October 2008. All three had been shot. The estranged husband of Hudson's sister is charged in the killings and is awaiting trial.
Jen, who started the foundation in Julian's honour with her sister, Julia, said she was inspired as a child by seeing the success of others.
"I love to target children, because that's the thing that makes a difference," she said. "We hope to do the same thing and start here at home in Chicago with health, with education, with dreams."