Song of courage: Jennifer Hudson steps back into the spotlight with a performance at the Super Bowl

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Courageous comeback: Jennifer Hudson performed at the Superbowl in Tampa, Florida yesterday for the first time since three members of her family were murdered in October

Singer Jennifer Hudson made a triumphant return to the spotlight last night when she performed the U.S. national anthem at the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida.

It was the 27-year-old’s first appearance since her mother, brother and nephew were murdered in October.

jennifer-hudson1Hudson looked composed and confident as she launched into the Star Spangled Banner in front of an 80,000 crowd in the Tampa stadium and a TV audience of more than a billion.

Hudson’s 57-year-old mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson and brother Jason Hudson, 27, were found shot dead in the family’s Chicago home in October. Her seven-year-old nephew, Julian King’s bullet-ridden body was discovered in an abandoned car three days later.

The singer’s brother-in-law William Balfour has been charged in the crimes.

The murders shocked the country, and prompted an outpouring of public support and sympathy for the popular Oscar-winning actress and singer.

Hudson, whose star turn in ‘Dreamgirls’ earned her an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007, was in Florida promoting her latest movie, ‘The Secret Life of Bees’, when she learned of the slayings.

Last night at the end of her performance, she anxiously asked the pre-game show producer Rickey Minor: ‘How did I do?’

‘I told her “Touchdown!”‘ Minor said after the performance.

‘This was such an important performance, because it’s the first time everyone has seen Jennifer. But she’s in such a great place, with such great spirits and time can heal her wounds. She’s on fire right now and totally grounded.’

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