Jordin Brianna Sparks (born December 22, 1989) is an American
pop/R&B singer, songwriter, model and actress from Glendale,
Arizona who rose to fame as the winner of the sixth season of
American Idol. Sparks won when she was 17 years old, making her
the youngest winner in Idol history. She followed her American
Idol victory with the release of her self-titled debut album
in 2007, which has gone platinum in the U.S. and has sold over
2 million copies worldwide. Sparks' single, "No Air" is
the highest selling single by any American Idol contestant, selling
about 4 million digital copies worldwide. Due to the success
of her debut album and its four top 20 singles, she has received
numerous awards and nominations including an American Music Award
in 2008 and her first Grammy nomination in 2009.
Sparks' second album Battlefield was released in July 2009 worldwide
and debuted at #7 in the U.S., three spots higher than her first
album. The album's lead single, also titled "Battlefield",
peaked in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it her third
top 10 single and fifth consecutive top 20 single. Sparks is the
only Idol contestant to have their first five singles reach the top
20 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Battlefield" has sold almost
2 million copies worldwide. Sparks has sold over 9 million singles
worldwide to date, making her one of the most successful idol winners.
Battlefield's second single, "S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)",
was her first song to top the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play
making it her first U.S. number one single. Sparks followed her
success in 2010 by making her debut on Broadway. Sparks starred as
Nina Rosario in the Tony Award winning broadway musical, In The Heights.
Sparks was born in Phoenix, Arizona to Jodi Weidmann Sparks and
former professional football player Phillippi Sparks. Sparks has
a younger brother, Phillippi "PJ" Sparks, Jr., who plays
football at Mountain Ridge High School. She grew up in the suburbs
of Ridgewood, New Jersey, while her father played as a defensive
back for the New York Giants. After living in New Jersey, Sparks
attended Northwest Community Christian School in Phoenix through
the eighth grade. Sparks attended Sandra Day O'Connor High School
until 2006, when she was homeschooled to better concentrate on her
singing. Sparks is an evangelical Christian and attends Calvary
Community Church in Phoenix. On her American Idol biography, she
thanks her parents and God for her win. She wears a purity ring
that symbolizes her desire to remain a virgin until marriage. She
won an award for best young artist of the year in Arizona for three
Before appearing on American Idol, Sparks participated in and won
such talent competitions as Coca-Cola's Rising Star, the Gospel Music
Association Academy's Overall Spotlight Award, America's Most Talented
Kids, Colgate Country Showdown, and the 2006 Drug Free AZ Superstar
Search. Prior to Idol, Sparks frequently performed the national anthem
at various local sporting events, notably for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona
Cardinals, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Sparks also appeared with Alice
Cooper in his 2004 Christmas show and toured with Christian contemporary
singer Michael W. Smith in 2006. In 2006, Sparks was one of six winners
of 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.
 American Idol
Sparks performing at the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2007.
In the summer of 2006, Sparks auditioned twice for the sixth season
of American Idol: once in Los Angeles (only auditioned for producers)
and again in Seattle after winning Arizona Idol, a talent competition
conducted by Phoenix Fox station KSAZ-TV. The Seattle audition is
the one seen in the January 17, 2007 broadcast of American Idol,
in which 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."
While on the show, Sparks gained a loyal fan base known as "Sparkplugs".
On May 23, 2007, Sparks was crowned the winner of the sixth season
of American Idol. She remains the youngest winner in American Idol
history. 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]."
Four selected songs Sparks had performed on American Idol, including
the season's coronation song, "This Is My Now", were made
available on her self-titled EP, released on May 22, 2007, the day
before the grand finale. The coronation song, "This Is My
Now" peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming
Sparks' first top fifteen hit on the chart. The following summer,
Sparks took part in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2007 from July
6 to September 23, 2007 along with other contestants in the top ten.
Since her win in 2007, Sparks has returned to Idol four times. She
twice performed on the seventh season of American Idol, once on the
Idol Gives Back results show singing "No Air" with Chris
Brown and again with "One Step at a Time" on May 21, 2008
for the finale. She performed "Battlefield" on the May
13, 2009 episode of American Idol. Most recently, she performed in
a tribute to Simon Cowell with other former contestants at the Season
9 finale on May 26, 2010.
Week # Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition N/A "Because You Loved Me" Celine Dion N/A Advanced
Hollywood N/A "Some Kind of Wonderful" Soul Brothers Six
Top 24 (12 Women) N/A "Give Me One Reason" Tracy Chapman
Top 20 (10 Women) Dedication Week "Reflection" Christina
Aguilera 6 Safe
Top 16 (8 Women) N/A "Heartbreaker" Pat Benatar 1 Safe
Top 12 Diana Ross "If We Hold On Together" Diana Ross 12
Top 11 British Invasion "I (Who Have Nothing)" Ben E. King
Top 10 No Doubt/artists who inspire Gwen Stefani "Hey Baby" No
Doubt 9 Safe
Top 9 American Classics "On a Clear Day" Tony Bennett 5
Top 8 Latin "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" Gloria Estefan 6
Top 7 Country "A Broken Wing" Martina McBride 2 Safe
Top 6 Inspirational "You'll Never Walk Alone" Rodgers and
Hammerstein 6 Safe
Top 6 Bon Jovi "Livin' on a Prayer" Bon Jovi 2 Safe
Top 4 Barry Gibb "To Love Somebody"
Woman in Love" Bee Gees
Barbra Streisand 4
Top 3 Judge's Choice (Simon Cowell)
Contestant's Choice "Wishing on a Star"
She Works Hard for the Money"
I (Who Have Nothing)" Rose Royce
Ben E. King 1
Finale New Song
Coronation Song "Fighter"
A Broken Wing"
This Is My Now" Christina Aguilera
Jordin Sparks 2
 Recording career
 2007–2008: Jordin Sparks
Main article: Jordin Sparks (album)
After winning American Idol, Sparks signed to 19 Recordings/Jive
Records, becoming the first Idol winner to join the label. On
August 27, 2007, she released her debut single, "Tattoo",
which peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Sparks'
first top ten hit on the chart. The song certified platinum in
the United States and Australia. To date, "Tattoo" has
sold over two million copies in the U.S.
Sparks released her self-titled debut studio album on November 20,
2007, which debuted at number ten on the Billboard 200. To date,
it has sold over a million copies in the U.S and was certified
platinum by the RIAA. "No Air", a duet with Chris Brown,
was released as the second single from the album in February 2008.
In the United States, the song peaked at number three on the Billboard
Hot 100 becoming Sparks' best-charting single to date. It was
also her first song to appear on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart,
where it reached number four. To date, the song has sold over
three million copies in the U.S, making Sparks the first American
Idol contestant to reach the three million mark. It also became
Brown's first song to hit three million. "No Air" also
charted in Australia and New Zealand, where it reached number
one, receiving platinum certifications in both countries.
On February 3, 2008, Sparks sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl
XLII. She performed in a tribute to Aretha at the NAACP Awards
in February, as well. She had previously performed in a tribute to
Diana Ross in December 2007.
In support of the album, Sparks opened for Alicia Keys on the North
America leg of her As I Am Tour, starting on April 19, 2008.
Before the tour, a career-threatening throat injury forced Sparks
to cancel a few weeks of the shows. Officials revealed she was suffering
an acute vocal cord hemorrhage and was ordered strict vocal rest
until the condition improved. Sparks was back on the road by
April 30, 2008 and remained on the tour until June 18, 2008. Sparks
later joined Keys for the tour leg in Australia and New Zealand in
The album's third single, "One Step at a Time", was released
in June 2008. It peaked at number seventeen on the Billboard Hot
100, giving Sparks her fourth top twenty hit on the chart. This
makes Sparks the only American Idol contestant to have her first
four singles reach the top twenty of the Hot 100. It also charted
in the top twenty in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
In New Zealand, the song reached number two and was certified
gold by the RIANZ. In August 2008, Sparks co-headlined the Jesse & Jordin
LIVE Tour with Jesse McCartney in the United States.
Sparks received two MTV Video Music Award nominations for Best Female
Video for "No Air" and Best New Artist at the 2008 MTV
Video Music Awards. While at the awards show, Sparks caused controversy
by responding to a joke made by host Russell Brand during his opening
monologue, in which he held up a silver ring, claiming to have relieved
one of the Jonas Brothers of their virginity, saying he would "take
them more seriously if they wore it (the ring) around their genitals".
Sparks who also wears a promise ring, began her introduction of T.I.
and Rihanna by saying "It's not bad to wear a promise ring because
not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut." In response
to the controversy over her "slut" remark, Sparks told
Entertainment Weekly that she doesn't regret the remark, commenting
that "I wish I would've worded it differently – that somebody
who doesn't wear a promise ring isn't necessarily a slut – but
I can't take it back now." At the 2008 American Music Awards,
Sparks won the award for Favorite Artist in the Adult Contemporary
 2009–2010: Battlefield
Main article: Battlefield (album)
Sparks performing "Faith" at the Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural
Ball on January 20, 2009.
On January 20, 2009, Sparks performed "Faith" at the Commander-in-Chief's
Inaugural Ball, hosted by President Barack Obama. Her second
studio album, Battlefield was released in the United States on July
21, 2009. The album's title track was released as the lead single
on May 25, 2009 and reached number ten on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song peaked in the top five in Australia, Canada, and
New Zealand. In the United States, Battlefield debuted at number
seven on the Billboard 200, peaking higher than her debut album's
position of number ten. However, the album was notably unsuccessful
compared to her debut, only selling 177,000 copies in the U.S
and having failed to earn any chart certificates.
In support of the album, Sparks opened for The Jonas Brothers on
the North America leg of the Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009, starting
on June 20, 2009. She also opened for Britney Spears on the second
leg of her Circus Tour in North America, beginning on August 24,
2009. Sparks served as a replacement for Ciara.
"S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)", was released as the second
single from Battlefield on September 15, 2009. The song topped
the U.S Hot Dance Club Songs chart, becoming Sparks' first number
one on the chart and peaked in the top fifteen in the United
Kingdom. During this time, she recorded the duet, "Art of
Love", with Australian artist Guy Sebastian for his fifth studio
album, Like It Like That. The song reached the top ten in Australia
and New Zealand and was certified platinum by the Australian
Recording Industry Association. The third single from Battlefield, "Don't
Let It Go to Your Head", was released in the United Kingdom
on January 8, 2010. The song reached a peak of #16 on the UK
Singles Chart despite no physical release.
In May 2010, Sparks embarked on her first headlining tour in the
United States, the Battlefield Tour. It began on May 1, 2010
and ended on July 18, 2010, stopping in over 35 major cities in the
United States. In support of the DVD/Blu-Ray re-release of the Disney
animated film, Beauty and the Beast, Sparks recorded a cover of the
film's title track for the soundtrack. A music video for the
song was released on October 18, 2010.
 2010–present: Third studio album
When asked in an interview in October 2010 about what her next projects
would be, Sparks revealed she had begun working on her third studio
album. During an interview with Good Day New York in November
2010, Sparks confirmed she would be recording the album in New York
and Arizona. In January 2011, it was reported that Sparks and
John Legend were working on songs together in the studio. In
March 2011, Sparks recorded a music video for a song called "The
World I Knew" for the film, African Cats, which was released
on April 22, 2011. To support her third album, Sparks will serve
as an opening act for the NKOTBSB summer tour. On May 5, 2011,
it was revealed its lead single is titled "I Am Woman".
Sparks co-wrote the song with Ryan Tedder, who also produced the
track. On May 12, 2011, Sparks will perform "I Am Woman" on
the American Idol top 4 results show.
 Other ventures
In April 2008, it was announced that Sparks would team up with cosmetics
company, Avon, to become a spokesperson for the teen-focused line
Mark. In November 2008, Sparks teamed up with Wet Seal to create
her own clothing line. The collection, appropriately named 'Sparks',
began with an assortment of holiday dresses delivering to stores
just in time for the busy Thanksgiving weekend. The line launched
on November 19, 2008 and comes in sizes XS to XL. Sparks said, "I
am so excited that Wet Seal and I have been able to create a line
of clothing that will appeal to more girls than ever before."
In 2009, she made her acting debut on Disney's The Suite Life on
Deck, guest starring as herself in the "Crossing Jordin" episode.
The episode guest starring Sparks aired on October 23, 2009.
Sparks also guest starred on the hit Nickelodeon show, Big Time Rush.
The episode aired on June 18, 2010.
On May 3, 2010, it was announced that Sparks would join the cast
of the Tony Award-winning Broadway show "In the Heights" as
Nina Rosario. Sparks took part in the production from August 19 through
November 14 for a consecutive 12 weeks. In October 2010, Sparks
released her debut fragrance "Because of You." This fragrance
is currently being exclusively distributed at Dots, but by November
will spread to other retail stores. The perfume is described as a "fruity
floriental perfume" consisting of notes of "clementine,
white imperial currant and orange blossom; a heart of nectarine,
sharry baby orchid and coral charm peony; and a drydown of sheer
musks, vanilla bean, Baltic amber and blond woods." Sparks wanted
this product to be affordable for her fans, yet still high end. "When
I was starting this project, I really wanted it to be affordable.
I looked at some other celebrity fragrances, and they were like $80.
Even now, I look at a fragrance that's $80, and I can't bring myself
to spend that much."
 Charitable work
Former US President George W. Bush congratulates Sparks after she
sang the U.S. National Anthem during the welcome for President Bush
and Mrs. Laura Bush to the U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Ghana
In 2007, Sparks was asked by a relative who works for SOS Children's
Villages USA in Florida to design a denim jacket festooned with Swarovski
Crystal to support orphans. In February 2008, Sparks traveled
to Ghana. She was part of the delegation of former U.S. President
George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush to help with Malaria
No More, an organization with a goal to end malaria deaths in Africa
by 2015. Sparks joined Mrs. Bush at the Maamobi Polyclinic, where
the First Lady donated a number of treated bed nets to some local
female traders in order to help combat the scourge of malaria in
Ghana. While there, Sparks sang "Amazing Grace" to the
durbar of chiefs who had gathered at the venue to give audience to
Laura Bush. Sparks said, "Traveling to Ghana with Malaria No
More gives me the incredible opportunity to see for myself what a
difference a simple mosquito net can make in the life of a child."
On May 20, 2009, Sparks became an endorser for the Got Milk? campaign,
an American advertising campaign encouraging the consumption of cow's
milk. On September 17, 2009, Sparks took part in the VH1
Divas special, a concert created to support the channel's Save The
Music Foundation The concert was held at the Brooklyn Academy
of Music in New York where Sparks performed the second single from
her Battlefield album, S.O.S. (Let the Music Play), as well as "A
Broken Wing" with Martina McBride. In February 2010, Sparks
was one of the many artists who contributed to "We Are the World
25 for Haiti", a charity single for the victims of the 2010
Haiti earthquake. Sparks teamed up with Pennyroyal Silver creator
and designer, Tim Foster to create her very own necklace design for
the company's signature collection. Proceeds of the necklace funded
medical units in Haiti.
On February 3, 2010, Sparks and David Archuleta performed at the "X
the TXT" event, held at the Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel in Miami
Beach, Florida. All proceeds raised by the event went to a number
of charities, including the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The following day both Sparks and Archuleta delivered teddy bears
to children at the hospital. In June 2010, the "Thumbs Up
to X the TXT" pledge campaign, established by "The Allstate
Corporation", made its way to Sparks' Battlefield Tour, presented
by Mike & Ike to encourage teens and their families not to text
while driving. Fans at Sparks' concerts made a pledge not to text
and drive by adding their thumbprint to a traveling banner at each
of her shows. The campaign began at Sparks' Battlefield Tour on June
3, 2010 and ended on July 18, 2010. Sparks is the main spokesperson
for the "I’m M.A.D., Are You?" campaign. She also
supports Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which helps to raise
money for children with cancer. Sparks traveled to Louisiana
in June 2010 to visit the Gulf Coast oil spill with the Audubon Society
to view the effects of the oil spill on the wildlife and marshes.
Sparks is also is a member of the National Youth Leadership Committee
for the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, along with Nick Jonas,
Genvieve Ryan, and Brodi Conover.
Main article: Jordin Sparks discography
2007: Jordin Sparks
2007: Jordin Sparks (EP)
2010: Battlefield Tour
2007: American Idols LIVE! Tour 2007
2008: Jesse & Jordin LIVE Tour
2008: As I Am Tour
2009: Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009
2009: The Circus Starring Britney Spears
2011: NKOTBSB Tour
 Awards and nominations
Year Award Category Result
2007 Teen Choice Awards Choice Female Reality/Variety Star Nominated
2008 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding New Artist Won
BET Pre-Awards Best Heartbreak Video ("No Air") Won
BET Awards Viewers Choice ("No Air") Nominated
Beautiful Face Award Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Hook-Up ("No Air") Won
Choice Love Song ("No Air") Nominated
Choice Breakout Artist Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Female Video ("No Air") Nominated
Best New Artist Nominated
American Music Awards Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist Won
2009 Grammy Awards Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals ("No Air")
People's Choice Awards Favorite Pop Song ("No Air")
Favorite Combined Forces ("No Air") Won
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration ("No
MTV Australia Awards Best Collaboration ("No Air")
2010 ARIA Music Awards Most Popular Australian Single ("Art
of Love" with Guy Sebastian) Nominated
Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Suite Life On Deck Herself Episode: "Crossing Jordin"
2010 Big Time Rush Herself Episode: "Big Time Sparks"
2011 BrainSurge Herself