Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson Released This Same Song Simultaneously

Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson are both icons and their careers crossed paths a few times. They each released covers of the same song — and Beyoncé opened up about whether there was a feud between them. Here’s the story of a song that almost never got released, only to be recorded by Queen B and Hudson years later.

Beyoncé | Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

A classic Broadway song that almost got cut from its show

It all starts with Broadway. According to the book Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway, director Michael Bennett had a difficult time directing the musical Dreamgirls. At one point, he wanted to cut a song called “One Night Only,” desiring to replace it with something more modern. 

Subsequently, he almost substituted it for another song called “Going to Be My Time.” However, the other people working on the show disliked this idea and Bennett reinserted “One Night Only” into the show. Although the film Dreamgirls is significantly different from the musical, it retains this iconic number.

“One Night Only” by Jennifer Hudson

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How the world responded to Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson’s covers of ‘One Night Only’

In the film version of Dreamgirls, Hudson and Beyoncé each play characters who each release their own version of “One Night Only.” Hudson’s plays a character called Effie White whose version is a soul ballad. Beyoncé’s character, Deena Jones, releases a disco version of the same song. The public heard both versions of the song but only responded to one.

Beyoncé’s version of the track reached No. 13 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart. Since it didn’t actually reach the Billboard Hot 100, it wasn’t much of a hit. In contrast, Hudson’s version did not appear on any Billboard chart. Something like this could cause disharmony. In an interview with MTV News, Beyoncé opened up about a rumored feud between herself and Hudson.

“One Night Only” by Beyoncé

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Did Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson have any issues with each other?

“I’m extremely proud of Jennifer,” Beyoncé said. “I think she’s incredible. It’s so unfortunate that once again the media is starting things with women…. Why would I be mad? I’m a part of an Oscar-buzz-[worthy] movie.” In addition, Beyoncé expressed some sympathy for Hudson.

“I can only imagine the pressure [Hudson] had being a woman that’s never had an album, never done a movie,” Queen B said. “When I told people I’m doing Dreamgirls, they were like, ‘That’s good. Who’s doing Effie? Is she singing “And I Am Telling You [I’m Not Going]” right?’ … That [song] is what the [production] is famous for, [and Hudson] pulled it off. She’s sweet, she [is] incredible and I hope she maintains that same sweetness…. She’s gifted, and I hope she maintains that.”

In addition, Hudson said she wasn’t sure why there were rumors Beyoncé was upset at her. Perhaps the public responded more to Queen B’s version of “One Night Only.” However, Hudson and Beyoncé were still, in Hudson’s words, “Dream sisters.”