Spotlight (Jennifer Hudson song)

Single by Jennifer Hudson
from the album Jennifer Hudson
Released June 10, 2008 (2008-06-10)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded May 2008
Genre R&B
Length 4:10
Label Arista/J
Writer(s) Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Belle Nuru, Shaffer Smith
Producer(s) Ne-Yo and Stargate
Jennifer Hudson singles chronology
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"
"If This Isn't Love"

"Spotlight" is an R&B song written and produced by Ne-Yo, Belle Nuru, and Norwegian production duo Stargate for Jennifer Hudson's self titled debut album.[1] It was released digitally on June 10, 2008 as the album's first single,[2] and reached the top thirty of the US Billboard Hot 100. Outside the States, the track has reached the top twenty in Turkey and the United Kingdom.[3]

The song received two Grammy Award nominations at the 2009 ceremony for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The video was voted 12th on BET: Notarized Top 100 videos of 2008.

Critical reception

The song received generally positive reviews. said that "If you were one of the people wondering if Jennifer Hudson could sustain her vocal energy, power and passion on a full album like she did in the role of Effie in the movie Dreamgirls and like she also does on the album's opening song and first single, "Spotlight," then wonder no more: the answer's a definite yes. "Spotlight" exemplifies the album as a whole: it's got a strong, independent woman singing strongly about love and relationships. In this case, the song is about a controlling lover: "If I'm just love's prisoner, then I'm bustin' out," she sings."[4] AllHipHop said that "“Spotlight” as catchy as it is was not debut single-worthy, and a brand new artist wouldn't have been looked at twice; but because it was Jennifer (and penned by Ne-Yo) attention was paid.".[5] Allmusic said that " 'Spotlight' was both promising and satisfying, nearly a dead-center bull's-eye – dramatic but not over the top, powerful but not a gratuitous fireworks display, a melancholy but striking midtempo track with a gently thumping four-four pulse."[6] Digital Spy said that Hudson "navigates the emotional complexities of 'Spotlight', on which she plays a downtrodden girlfriend".[7] New York Daily News said that the song's "trendy, staccato backup vocals give the song spine. Better, the character presented by the lyrics – a put-upon woman who's finally stepping out – fits Hudson's persona as the angry queen of payback."[8] Slant magazine said that "Lead single "Spotlight" is a serviceable, pulsating, you-did-me-wrong jam that is, thanks to Stargate and Ne-Yo, perfectly in line with today's trends."[9] The Times said the song "is predictably mid-tempo as it tries to please all her fan bases at once."[10]

Music video

The song's music video was directed by Chris Robinson and Hudson introduced its premiere screening on BET's 106 and Park on June 24, 2008.[11] Ryan Gentles from the plays Madea Goes to Jail and Diary of a Mad Black Woman appears in the video as Hudson's love interest.[12]

Hudson appears talking on her cellphone to her friend, complaining about her over-protective boyfriend. After she gets off her cellphone, she puts on a jacket and a scarf and leave her house into an alley, then entering a nightclub, dancing and having a good time until she sees her boyfriend Gentles. She then takes his hand and leads him into a white room with stripes telling him that she loves him but that he needs to realize that she is a good girl and not to worry before it is too late. Towards the end of the video, Hudson is walking down a runway with her boyfriend sitting in front of the runway. The video ends with Hudson getting off her cellphone. A bottle of Campari is prominently displayed in the video in a scene featuring Hudson and Gentles at the nightclub.

Chart performance

"Spotlight" peaked at number twenty-four on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Hudson her first top thirty hit to date on the chart. The song also peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, spending two consecutive weeks at number one.[13]

On September 21, 2008, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number fifteen[14] on downloads alone. It is her first top twenty hit in the United Kingdom, and climbed to number eleven on September 28 despite there being no CD single release. It also peaked at number one on UK Airplay Chart. All in all the song performed better on the charts in the United Kingdom than in her native United States. In 2008, "Spotlight" was the biggest selling non-top ten single of the year.

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single-releases of "Spotlight".

US CD single
  1. "Spotlight" (album version) – 4:10
  2. "Spotlight" (instrumental) – 4:11
  3. "Spotlight" (call out hook) – 0:11
  4. "Spotlight" (Remix By Jemell Moore [Google My Name]) – 4:09
German basic CD
  1. "Spotlight" (album version) – 4:10
  2. "Spotlight" (part 2; featuring Young Jeezy) – 5:07
German premium CD
  1. "Spotlight" (main version) – 4:10
  2. "Spotlight" (Moto Blanco club mix) – 7:56
  3. "Spotlight" (Quentin Harris Dark Collage club mix) – 11:31
  4. "Spotlight" (Johnny Vicious Muzik mix) – 9:30
  5. "Spotlight" (music video) – 3:39

UK digital single
  1. "Spotlight" (U.K. radio edit) – 3:44
UK download bundle[15]
  1. "Spotlight" – 94:10
  2. "Spotlight" (Moto Blanco club mix) – 7:56
  3. "Spotlight" (Quentin Harris Dark College club mix) – 8:49
  4. "Spotlight" (Johnny Vicious Muzik mix) – 6:45
  5. "Spotlight" (Moto Blanco dub) – 6:58
  6. "Spotlight" (Johnny vicious Warehouse dub) – 7:11
  7. "Spotlight" (Moto Blanco radio mix) – 4:11
  8. "Spotlight" (Johnny Vicious radio mix) – 3:52

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Chart (2008) Peak
scope="row"Australia (ARIA)[16] 96
scope="row"Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[17] 73
scope="row"Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[18] 69
scope="row"Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[19] 36
scope="row"Germany (Official German Charts)[20] 58
scope="row"Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[21] 19
scope="row"Ireland (IRMA)[22] 32
scope="row"Japan (Japan Hot 100)[23] 15
scope="row"New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[24] 21
scope="row"UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 11
scope="row"US Billboard Hot 100[26] 24
scope="row"US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[27] 1
scope="row"US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[28] 8

Year-end charts

Chart (2009) Position
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[29] 55


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[30] Silver 200,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Radio and release history

Country Date Format Label
United States June 9, 2008 Airplay Arista
June 10, 2008 Digital download
United Kingdom October 20, 2008 CD single

Cover versions


  1. ASCAP ACE – Search Results. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved on 2008-06-14.
  2. Cohen, Jonathan (2008-05-19). Debut Jennifer Hudson Album Due In September. Billboard. Retrieved on 2008-06-14.
  3. "Chart performance". Retrieved 2009-02-12.
  8. "New Jennifer Hudson CD is no 'Dreamgirls'". Daily News. New York. September 29, 2008.
  10. Elan, Priya (September 27, 2008). "Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Hudson". The Times. London. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  11. Jennifer Hudson Spotlight Music Video. MySpace
  12. » VIDEO: JENNIFER HUDSON – SPOTLIGHT // 'CONCRETELOOP.COM' – quality not quantity
  13. Jonathan Cohen (October 23, 2008). T.I. Returns To No. 1 On The Hot 100 Billboard. Accessed October 23, 2008.
  14. "Official Singles Chart for the week ending 27 September 2008". ChartsPlus. Milton Keynes: IQ Ware Ltd (370): 1–4.
  16. " – Jennifer Hudson – Spotlight". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  17. " – Jennifer Hudson – Spotlight" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  18. "Jennifer Hudson – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Jennifer Hudson. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  19. "Jennifer Hudson – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Jennifer Hudson. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  20. " – Jennifer Hudson Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  21. "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  22. "Chart Track: Week 15, 2008". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  23. "Jennifer Hudson – Chart history" Japan Hot 100 for Jennifer Hudson. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  24. " – Jennifer Hudson – Spotlight". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  25. "Jennifer Hudson: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  26. "Jennifer Hudson – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Jennifer Hudson. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  27. "Jennifer Hudson – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Jennifer Hudson. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  28. "Jennifer Hudson – Chart history" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for Jennifer Hudson. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  29. "Éves összesített listák – MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 (súlyozott)". Mahasz. Mahasz.
  30. "British single certifications – Jennifer Hudson – Spotlight". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 19, 2014. Enter Spotlight in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search

See also

Preceded by
"Whatever You Like" by T.I.
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs number-one single
October 25, 2008 – November 1, 2008
Succeeded by
"Miss Independent" by Ne-Yo
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