The long wait was apparently worth it for former American Idol finalist and Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson.

Hudson's self-titled debut album has debuted at No. 2 on this week's The Billboard 200 album sales chart, selling 217,000 units during its initial week of release, according to Nielsen Soundscan data.

In addition, "Spotlight" -- the first single from Hudson's album -- has also climbed to No. 3 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Hudson's album represents the biggest first-week debut album sales for a former American Idol finalist since Taylor Hicks' self-titled debut sold 298,000 units during its first week of release in December 2006. 

Hudson finished seventh on American Idol's third season in 2004.  The following year, she landed the role of Effie in the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls.   Last year, she won the best supporting actress Oscar award for the performance -- which also represented her big-screen debut. 

In between, she signed a recording deal with Arista Records.

In addition to Hudson's album, this week's The Billboard 200 chart also featured the debut of another Idol alum's new album.  "Kellie Pickler," the self-titled sophomore album of fifth-season Idol finalist Kellie Pickler, debuted at No. 9 on the chart after selling 43,000 units in its first week of release.