Update

Barack Obama Offers Support to Jennifer Hudson

Barack Obama Offers Support to Jennifer Hudson
Barack Obama; Jennifer Hudson
Jason Reed/Reuters/Landov; Leonard Adam/WireImage

updated 10/26/2008 at 05:25 PM EDT

originally published 10/25/2008 10:50PM

While family and friends mourn the tragic death of Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother, who were shot and killed Friday, support for the singer continues to pour in. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, who shares the same Chicago hometown as the singer, issued a statement Saturday.

"Michelle and I were absolutely heartbroken to learn about this unimaginable tragedy and we want Jennifer to know that she is in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time," the Illinois senator said. "We also pray for the swift and safe return of her young nephew."

Hudson sang the national anthem during the Democratic National Convention in August after a personal request from Obama's camp.

"That was the biggest honor, I feel like, in my career – one of the greatest moments," Hudson told PEOPLE earlier this month. "I had to separate myself emotionally so I didn't get too emotional while I was singing because I can't sing and cry at the same time.... I was lucky to be a part of it."

"She has done so much for the campaign," a campaign insider tells PEOPLE about the singer. "Everyone was just so shocked and saddened."

And Hudson's Dreamgirls costar Anika Noni Rose issued a statement to PEOPLE on Sunday about the sad situation. "I know that Jennifer was extremely close to her mother and brother and I pray that the family will find healing and peace," she said. "My thoughts and prayers are with Jennifer, Julia and Julian in this awful time."

Meanwhile, American Idol judge Randy Jackson also shared his condolences for Hudson and expressed his disbelief of what authorities are calling a double homicide.

"My heart and soul goes out to her and the rest of her family," Jackson tells PEOPLE. "Such a huge tragedy – I can't even believe that it's possible. Paula Abdul and I were just talking about it yesterday and it's just so sad."

Jackson also says he has reached out to the singer since news of the tragedy broke. "I left a couple of messages for her and I'm just trying to give to her whatever I can. My God. The world is an ugly place right now."

Reporting by RENNIE DYBALL, SANDRA SOBIERAJ WESTFALL and CYNTHIA WANG

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