News / Arts & Entertainment

Former 'Idol' Jordin Sparks Gets Personal on New Album

Jordin Sparks (file photo)
Jordin Sparks (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Larry London

Singing star Jordin Sparks rose to fame in 2007 on the popular television show American Idol.  After winning the title at age 17 Jordin has scored three Top 10 Billboard Chart hits and appeared in a Broadway musical.  Now at 21 Jordin is putting the final touches on her third album. 

Many artists who gain fame on the U.S. television show American Idol fade quickly into obscurity.  Not so for Jordin Sparks, who defeated thousands of other contestants during the show’s sixth season to become the youngest winner ever. Jordin’s life has been a whirlwind ever since.

“It has been nonstop ever since, it has been a steady rise and really cool," Sparks says.  "I am just glad that four or five years later people still want to talk to me and want to hear me sing.  It is just awesome … I love being able to do what I do.”

Just getting into the contest was a daunting task. Jordin was rejected by the judges the year before she won the show.

“I auditioned in L.A. [Los Angeles, California] and I was told [by the judges] ‘no’ and I was 16 [years old] so it was fine," recalls Sparks. "I thought there was something that needs to happen and I can always audition next year because I was in the youngest age group at the time.”



That can do attitude and her love of music were apparent at a very young age.

“My grandmother found some tapes … old family videos, and I was just 18 months old and singing ‘Jingle Bells’ before I could even make sentences," Sparks says.  She [grandmother] was playing it on the piano and I am singing every single word at 18 months … so music has always been something that is just in my blood … like I was born to do it.  

I feel like this is what I am supposed to be doing and I will be doing it after the lights go off and the stage is not there," she adds.  "I will be singing to grandchildren or whoever but music is what I always wanted to do and I knew I would be a singer I just did not know when it would happen."

Jordin's debut single “Tattoo” peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Her follow up hit, “No Air”, was recorded with Chris Brown in 2007 and reached number three.

A second album and other hits followed including her top 10 anthem Battlefield.  

The first single from Jordin’s upcoming third album is "I Am Woman".

“It is definitely different for me [the song].  It has more attitude and a little bit more edgy," Sparks says. "It is a side of me I have always had and I have not been able to show it yet … but it worked out and now I can do that.  I have always had a little bit of rhythm but I wanted to step my game up and do something different and it was cool because my fans had no idea”.

The style is different, yet Jordin is confident her fans will embrace her new sound.

“Not necessarily too farfetched that my fans will not know it is me," notes the former American Idol.  "I tend, when I get to write and I get to be a part of the music making process, to write from things I have gone through or am going through or things I am thinking of at the moment or the way I am feeling.  It is really cool to put songs on a record that I was part of … that I sing and there is a different connection to that song then there is say with somebody who just sends in a song”.

Jordin Sparks shuttled between New York and Arizona to work on the new album, but there are no specifics yet on a release date.

“I am not sure, we are still working on it," she says.  "We have got some songs from it is fun to be dancing with you and now we are floating because we are together and a ballad and a song like I cannot believe you said that to me, get out of my sight … different things like that so we are trying to make it all cohesive.  When I heard “I Am Woman” (for the first time) I thought that is the song I need to put out there and for the rest of the album I want to make sure it all fits together”.

Despite a busy schedule that includes a concert tour, her clothing line ‘Sparks’, and a recent Broadway performance, Jordin still has time to give back supporting a number of charities including ‘Alex’s Lemonade Foundation’ which helps raise money for children with cancer.

“Not giving back just does not make sense to me.  I get to do all this, travel overseas, and what is all of it if I cannot go and put a smile on somebody’s face or I cannot give back or give a little of my time.  I love being able to do things like that," Sparks says.

Jordin Sparks is a true American Idol.  Look for her new album before the end of the year.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.