After four decades in Hollywood and several accolades for her work on the screen and stage, Jennifer Holliday is looking back on her illustrious career.

In a feature for  New York Post, the singer revealed that back in the day, one fellow Broadway diva told her losing weight would harm her career. 

Holliday is revisiting her incredible discography in a mini-residency at 54 Below in New York City. The performance is filled with Holliday’s hits, including the song that put her on the map, “And I Am Telling You,” which she sang while portraying Effie White in Dreamgirls. The six-night-only show is part of the venue’s Diamond Series and was postponed for two years due to COVID-19.

“This is our third time trying to do this. It’s been a ‘Diamond’ in the rough, literally,” Holliday told the Post. “So now my show is gonna be more of a personal type of show . . . to reflect how I’m feeling right now. I think most of us feel more raw now. Most of us feel more like we want to be known personally.”

Tackling “And I Am Telling You” reminds Holliday of what it was like singing it for the first time.

“When I first sang it, I was 19 going on 20 years old,” she told The Post. “And as I became a young woman and then a real woman and then a grown-ass woman, the song took on different meanings. It’s a song of survival today. It’s like, ‘And I’m telling you that I’m still here. I’m not going.’ So for me, more so than anything, it’s me telling the world — and telling myself — that I’m worthy to still be here and that I still have a lot more to offer.”

But playing Effie isn’t easy for the singer, who discovered over the years that her weight affected how she connected with the character.

“A lot of the association with Effie related to the weight and feeling not attractive,” she said. “And when I first lost the weight [in 1990], a lot of people were upset with me. They were like, ‘Oh, you are betraying yourself by losing weight.’ Even Barbra Streisand told me that I shouldn’t lose weight because that’s what I’m known for. She said that I shouldn’t lose weight because they tried to make her fix her nose when she got in the business and that the things that we are associated with make us us.”

It was invaluable advice from Sharon Gless that helped Holliday navigate how to tap into Effie while wearing a smaller dress size.

“Sharon Gless from ‘Cagney and Lacey’ told me, ‘Listen, unfortunately people do associate Effie with being overweight. So here’s what you do: Wear the fat suit, each night take it off, bless it for what it’s meant for you, and don’t let it make you feel down,’ ” she said.

Holliday’s mini-residency will run until Feb. 26.