Jennifer Hudson, who’s currently giving people every bit of life as Shug Avery in The Color Purple on Broadway, will next star in the Hairspray Live! event, which will air on NBC later this year.

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Hudson, who’s becoming a go-to for musicals, will play the role of Motormouth Maybelle for the story set in 1962, about a teen with dance aspirations. NBC entertainment head Robert Greenblatt, who loves the sound of Hudson’s voice, says, “We know her rendition of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ will literally stop the show.” It won’t even matter if the rest is a mess.

In addition to writing the script, Harvey Fierstein has also been cast as Tracy Turnblad’s mom Edna, who he played to Tony-winning effect onstage.


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