Jennifer Hudson left them wanting more Saturday night at the Winspear Opera House.
But that was not before leaving them a little confused.
What was ultimately truly "A Night to Remember," the annual fundraising celebration for CitySquare, got off to a shaky start when Hudson put the microphone to her mouth and ... nothing.
The crowd still got a treat. The Academy Award winner for best supporting actress (Dreamgirls) got to ply that craft as she pantomimed to her own song.
Hudson is so confident in her abilities that she sang seated on a stool, with a relaxed posture no different than if she were holding a conversation from an easy chair. And that confidence led to another treat: Either one of the trio of her backup singers could have a solo career of their own. Affectionately called the Hudsonettes, they carried opening song "Whatever Makes You Happy" without missing a beat until her microphone came on to applause.
And among the Hudsonettes? George Huff. Of Dallas. Yes, that George Huff from Season 3 of American Idol, the season which also included Hudson and was won by Fantasia Barrino, lives in Dallas.
"I don't mean to tell your business," said Hudson when she let the crowd know they were listening to one of their own as she handed off to him during the band introductions.
Huff went into his full Luther Vandross at her behest, going from bass to the stratosphere with Vandross' "If Only For One Night."
The Hudsonettes were so good that the new Voice coach claimed that they didn't leave her with anything else to do. Yeah, right. She danced among and with members of the crowd, she talked about the difference between "Jennifer Hudson" and "J-Hud" and then she got down to business. Because she knew and they knew there was one song everyone came for.
"Without this song, I wouldn't be here," she said, and then she began: "And I." That's all she could get out before the crowd took over with cheering, calls to action and sustained applause.
Jennifer Hudson, a powerful singer with amazing control who really only had the microphone for show later, kept thanking CitySquare: "Thank you so much for having me."
After a rousing version of "Hallelujah" dedicated to Houston, just enough of her blistering take on "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," and a welcome encore of "Purple Rain," this still-standing and spontaneously shouting and applauding audience was left saying, "No. Thank you."