Jordin Brianna Sparks
(born December 22, 1989) is an American actress, model and American Idol finalist.Early life
Jordin Sparks was born in Staten Island, New York to Phoenix, Arizona-native Jodi Wiedmann and Phillippi Sparks, a former NFL football player for the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. Her father is African American and her mother is Caucasian. She has a younger brother called PJ (Phillippi Sparks, Jr). Sparks is managed by her maternal grandmother, Pam Wiedmann. Her aunt Shari is an actress & model. Sparks is currently homeschooled. She is a fan of football, reading, and music. Sparks is a Christian and often performs at Calvary Community Church and has been singing since she was 18 months old. She is a resident of Glendale, Arizona.Career
Sparks appeared on the January 17, 2007 broadcast of American Idol, earning a "gold ticket" and the right to appear in the Hollywood Round. American Idol judge Randy Jackson, made the offhand prediction that "Curly hair will win this year," which may have been made in reference to Sparks. Before going on to AI, she won Arizona Idol.
In 2006, Sparks was one of two winners who won the Phoenix Torrid search for the "Next Plus Size Model". She was flown to California where she was used in a number of Torrid ads and promotional pieces. A full-page ad for Torrid featuring Jordin ran in the December, 2006 issue of Seventeen magazine.
Sparks finished second in 2004 at the Music in the Rockies national competition for aspiring Contemporary Christian Music artists.
In 2004, Sparks appeared in America's Most Talented Kids twice, winning in her first appearance. She was one of seven to appear in a special championship edition of the show. This appearance followed two noted auditions in 2003, one with American Juniors and the other, Star Search.
Sparks has performed the national anthem at various sporting events, notably for the Phoenix Suns, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. She has also sung in such events as Country Thunder, a country music venue. She has appeared with Alice Cooper (in his 2004 Christmas show) and has twice toured with Christian contemporary singer Michael W. Smith. Smith has shown support of Sparks by encouraging Idol viewers to vote for her on his website.
In 2003, at the age of thirteen, Sparks recorded a five-song album titled For Now, working with Matthew Ward, a legendary Christian music artist, and Gary Leach, an engineer who has worked on several of LeAnn Rimes' albums. She appeared in a compilation album titled Live at Mr. Lucky's in 2004.
As an actress, Sparks has appeared in several plays, recently starring in a dual role as characters Deborah and Bea in Magdalene at the Plumbline Theater in Franklin, Tennessee. She's also performed several times with Vaudeville Youth Theatre Company and Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix. Her first appearance was in March 2002 as an Emerald City dancer and as a poppy in The Wiz. She also appeared in VYT's production of Cinderella in June 2002 and another production of The Wiz in August 2002.American Idol
Sparks received a trip to the Seattle, Washington auditions of American Idol (season 6) upon her win of the Fox 10 KSAZ "Arizona Idol" contest.
She was featured in the audition episode shown on January 17, 2007 singing the Celine Dion hit "Because You Loved Me." Simon Cowell criticized her for "being too cute," but the judges were impressed with her overall, sending her on to the Hollywood rounds of the show.
On the February 21, 2007 broadcast, (top 24 contestants) she performed "Give Me One Reason", a song written and performed by Tracy Chapman in 1995.
On the February 28, 2007 broadcast (top 20 contestants) she performed "Reflection", written and produced by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel, and originally performed by Christina Aguilera and Lea Salonga in the movie Mulan in 1998.
On the March 7, 2007 broadcast, she performed "Heartbreaker", originally performed by Pat Benatar in 1979.
On the March 13, 2007 broadcast, (top 12 contestants) she performed "If We Hold On Together" by Diana Ross, from the Land Before Time series. She and the other top twelve contestants were mentored by Diana Ross. Both judges Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell said that she made it a three girl race to win Idol along with Lakisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle.
The following week, she sang "I (Who Have Nothing)", first made popular by Ben E. King in 1963, and also recorded by Shirley Bassey (reached #6 in the U.K.) and Tom Jones (reached #14 in the U.S.). She and the other top eleven female contestants were mentored by Lulu. A reviewer on EW.com called her performance "powerful" and "passionate," and ranked it in the top-20 Idol performances of all time.
On the March 27th edition of the show, Sparks performed "Hey Baby", originally performed by ska band No Doubt.
On the Top 9 show(April 4th), she sang "On A Clear Day." She was announced the following night as being in the top 3.
On the Top 8 show(April 10th), she sang "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You", originally by Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine. Jennifer Lopez was the mentor for the Latin Pop theme week.
On the Top 7 show (April 17th), she sang "A Broken Wing", originally by Martina McBride, who was the mentor for Country week. Simon said, "Based on that performance, you could win American Idol."
On the Top 6 show (April 24th) Jordin dominated the show by singing "You Will Never Walk Alone." Judge Randy Jackson said “I think that’s one of the best vocals by any contestant ever on this show, ever in six seasons, and it’s from someone that’s seventeen years old.”
As of April 18th, she and fellow contestant Melinda Doolittle are the only two finalists to have never been in the bottom three this season.Discography
For Now (2003)
(As of 2007, a second album is in development but has been put on hold due to her time on American Idol, and if she wins, it will be dropped since she will be signed to a major label)
Live at Mr. Lucky's (2004)
On Sparks' website, new songs have been released, three of which have been co-written with Gary Leach.
"When The Pain Goes Away"
"Give Me One Reason"
A list of awards and honors that Jordin Sparks has received on course of her career.
Coca Cola Rising Star 2002
- Family Night Talent Show Five-time 1st Place Finals
- Winner at Mr. Lucky's in Glendale, Arizona, 2003
- Glendale Youth Fest 2003: Teen Talent Show, 1st Place
- GMA (Gospel Music Association) Academy, Washington, D.C., Overall Spotlight Winner & Country/Southern Gospel First Place Winner, 2004
- Country Thunder Young Guns Second Place Winner, 2004
- The Proof Is In The Pudding Talent Winner, Phoenix, Arizona, 2004
- PAX TV/America’s Most Talented Kids, 2005
- Colgate Country Showdown, Arizona state title, 2006.
- Runner-up in the 2007 Drug Free AZ Superstar Search. [Tempe, Arizona} www.drugfreeaz.com
- Plus-size model search winner for Torrid
- American Idol Top 12 Finalist Jordin SparksFor NowThe Inside
, When The Pain Goes Away
, Just Me
, Give Me One Reason
, Reflectionjordin sparksamerican idol