Mr. Hudson Makes His Big-Time Debut on Massive 'SNL' Episode
By PopEater Staff Posted May 10th 2010 12:14PM
Jay-Z invited Mr. Hudson -- a bit of a newcomer to the mainstream scene -- to join him on stage to belt out their duet 'Young Forever.' Considering it was the highest-rated episode of 'SNL' in 18 months, that's a lot of eyes on the svelte newcomer. So who the heck is this white-haired fella named Mr. Hudson? After the jump, PopEater gives a bit of primer.
Mr. Hudson is actually Ben Hudson, a British musician with an eclectic blend of musical influences who got into the music biz after studying English at Oxford University. He's traditionally a singer and guitarist, but lately he's dabbled in hip-hop production. His penchant for everything from David Bowie to OutKast to Marvin Gaye gave him a breadth of musical scope that started getting him noticed shortly after his 2007 debut with his band, Mr. Hudson & the Library. On the 2007 album 'A Tale of Two Cities,' Hudson showed his range by belting out tunes from the 'My Fair Lady' soundtrack as well as from Old Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.
"The thing is it took me a long time to figure out my sound because I always wanted to showcase the best of both worlds. I wanted to be a songwriter and didn't want to neglect that part of my craft. I also wanted to learn about production," Hudson told Hypebeast in an interview.
Hudson's blend of talents and chops eventually led to him getting his massive break, when he was signed by Kanye West to his G.O.O.D. record label. Hudson then went on to produce songs on West's last album, '808s & Heartbreak,' and also shared some mic time with West on the album.
In 2009, Hudson went solo, unleashing 'Straight No Chaser' on the music-listening public, an album that was executive produced by his mentor West. "He would basically be involved when he could and when he wanted to, that way it would be more of an experience and not an obligation," Hudson said of West's involvement.
The wins continued last year, as Hudson won Q Magazine's (think British Rolling Stone) 'Best Breakthrough Act' award.
Currently, Hudson is riding the success of his Jay-Z collaboration, 'Young Forever,' a hip-hop take on Alphaville's sappy tune 'Forever Young.' During the 'SNL' performance of 'Young,' Jay-Z dedicated the age-based tune to none other than host Betty White.
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