Jordin Brianna Sparks
(born December 22, 1989)
is an American pop/R&B singer, songwriter, fashion designer, and plus-size model.
She rose to fame as the winner of the sixth season of American Idol, and followed her victory with the release of her debut album, which led to her reception of an American Music Award and Grammy nominations in 2008. Her self titled debut album was certified Platinum in the U.S. on December 12, 2008.
Before appearing on American Idol, Sparks participated in and won such talent competitions as Sprite Rising Star, Gospel Music Association GMA Academy, The Proof Is In The Pudding Contest, NBC/PAX America's Most Talented Kids, Colgate Country Showdown and the 2007 Drug Free AZ Superstar Search.
In 2006, Sparks was one of six 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 Sparks ran in the December 2006 issue of Seventeen magazine.
In the summer of 2006, Sparks auditioned twice for American Idol once in Los Angeles, CA (only auditioned for producers) and again in Seattle, WA after winning KSAZ Fox 10's "Arizona Idol." The Seattle audition is the one seen in the January 27, 2007 broadcast of American Idol where she earned 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 he admitted wasn't Sparks.
While on the show, Sparks gained a loyal fan base known as "Sparkplugs" (even having their own official fan site).
On May 23, 2007, Sparks was crowned the winner of the sixth season of American Idol having never been in the bottom three. Sparks was the fourth winner never to have been voted in the bottom three (after Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Hicks); Cowell said "Jordin was the most improved over the whole season -- didn't start the best, but midway through this was the girl who suddenly got momentum," he included that "Young girl, likeable, and the singer won over the entertainer [Lewis].
Sparks' songs from the American Idol have been on sale at the iTunes Store and the American Idol official website as Jordin Sparks (EP) (called a "bundle" on Idol official website) shortly after the finale of Idol, along with other songs that did not make the EP's cut that were being sold as individual singles. According to SoundScan figures posted in USA Today, Blake Lewis sold more digital singles than Sparks, but her mini album sold more than Lewis'.
After the finale of Idol, Sparks has made several appearances on television shows. She performed the finale song, "This Is My Now"on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Early Show and The View. Sparks had also appeared on Total Request Live, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet with the runner-up of Idol, Blake Lewis, Larry King Live with contestants who made into the top ten of American Idol.
On July 4, 2007, Sparks performed "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful" on Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular with Lewis and Melinda Doolittle.
Along with television and radio appearances,Sparks has been on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, Your Prom and World and featured in VIBE, TV Guide, Glamour and other publications.
Sparks twice performed on seventh season, once on the Idol Gives Back results show singing her duet with Chris Brown, "No Air" and again with "One Step at a Time" on May 21, 2008, for the finale of American Idol.