News / Arts & Entertainment

    Former 'Idol' Jordin Sparks Gets Personal on New Album

    Jordin Sparks (file photo)
    Jordin Sparks (file photo)
    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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

    New in Music Alley

    Soul Lounge: Sweet Honey in the Rocki
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 10, 2016 1:48 PM
    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B. The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.

    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B.   The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.