Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks. Photo by Noam Galai / Getty Images

Early Life and Family

Jordin Sparks was born December 22, 1989 in New York City. Her father is Phillipi Sparks, an NFL football player for the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. Jordin claims to have been singing from almost the time she began to talk. Her mother, Jodi Wiedmann Sparks, has provided strong encouragement for her musical accomplishments. Jordin Sparks' family moved to Glendale, Arizona after her father announced his retirement from football in 2000.

Jordin Sparks - Singer

In 2003, at the age of 13, Jordin Sparks recorded a 5-song, independently released CD titled For Now. The EP was put together with assistance from contemporary Christian music pioneer Matthew Ward. In 2004 Jordin Sparks appeared in the reality TV competition America's Most Talented Kids advancing to a championship edition of the show. Jordin has frequently performed at sporting events and in various vocal competitions locally and across the country.

Jordin Sparks - Actor

Jordin Sparks' stage talents extend beyond singing. She explored acting in a range of productions. These include a variety of performances with the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2009, she made her TV acting debut as a guest star on an episode of Disney's The Suite Life of Deck. In 2010 she made an appearance on an episode of Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush.

In 2010, Jordin Sparks appeared in the Broadway cast of the show In the Heights from August 19 through November 14.

Jordin Sparks' film debut took place in 2012 when she appeared in Sparkle with the late Whitney Houston. She has since acted in multiple TV movies.

Jordin Sparks - Model

In 2006 Jordin Sparks was selected by Torrid as one of the "Next Plus-Size Models." She was featured in a full-page spread in Seventeen magazine in December, 2006.

American Idol

Jordin Sparks auditioned for American Idol in Seattle, Washington. She sang Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" and her audition was broadcast January 17, 2007. Throughout the show's season, Jordin was praised for having amazing vocal skill and poise for someone who is only 17. When she won the competition she became the first teenage winner of American Idol.

Pop Sensation

Prior to American Idol Jordin Sparks had strong ties to the contemporary Christian music scene. However, when her self-titled debut album was released in November 2007, it became clear that Sparks was aiming to be a pop star. The album generated 3 top 10 pop singles including a superstar duet with Chris Brown, "No Air." The song was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award.

In the spring of 2009, "Battlefield," the first single from Jordin Sparks' second album was released. It was produced and co-written by Ryan Tedder, the man behind Leona Lewis' breakthrough "Bleeding Love." The song became her second top 10 pop hit single.

Jordin Sparks began working on her third studio album in 2010. However, the new music hit multiple delays. In 2013 she announced on Twitter that she had reached agreement with RCA on release of new material.

However in 2014 an announcement was made that Jordin Sparks was no longer recording for RCA. The third album Right Here Right Now was finally released in August 2015. However, despite positive critical reviews, it was a commercial disappointment barely registering on the album chart peaking at #161. 

Jordin Sparks remains one of the most successful of American Idol winners having sold more than 10 million singles in the US alone.