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At an age when most teens are looking forward to a carefree summer break, Jordin Sparks at 17, graced the stage as the youngest American Idol winner and spent the summer months crafting her eponymous debut album. Honing all the confidence, class and breathtaking range of emotion that put her at the epicenter of the entertainment world for most of 2007, Jordin is pouring everything into her upcoming album due out on 19 Recordings/Jive Records in November.
Effortlessly navigating a dream-team of 'A-list" writing/producing talent on her new album that includes The Underdogs (Dreamgirls soundtrack, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige), Eman (Nick Lachey, Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion), Robbie Nevil (High School Musical soundtrack), and former Color Me Badd star-turned producer/writer Sam Watters (Jessica Simpson) - all of them adding color and dimension to her multitude of talents ala Jordin's kickoff single, "Tattoo." Written by Amanda Ghost, (who co-penned James Blunt's breakthrough classic "You're Beautiful,") and produced by the Norwegian street-tinged duo Stargate, (Beyonce, Ne-Yo, Rhianna), the single has buoyantly reacquainted music fans with Jordin's remarkable vocal presence.
Born in Phoenix, AZ, (she resides in Glendale) she admits that the high-intensity environment of her father's occupation (her dad, Phillippi Sparks, was a professional football player for the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys) may have schooled her in how to cope with the rigors of show business early on. "My family was always very loving, very grounded. My dad kept us calm no matter what was happening with his career, and my mom made me fiercely independent. She was big on teaching us responsibility and fending for ourselves. I think I understood early the importance of setting goals and being prepared to meet them." Growing up in a bi-racial household also taught Jordin another valuable lesson. "Amazingly, I never felt singled-out. Even at school, we were always treated with respect, never out of the ordinary, which when I look back, is really an incredible thing. I try to be that accepting whenever I encounter a new or difficult situation."
When asked if there is anything truly surprising her fans might want to know about her - she laughs: 'The fact that I like post-hardcore bands - 'Screamo' bands like Silverstein (from Burlington, Ontario) and others." Jordin is quick to add she's also a sucker for '80's music. "I'm full of surprises," she smiles. "I've found out the best thing about making your first album is how much you continue to surprise even yourself."
"Overnight success" is overwhelming to anyone at any age' but Jordin Sparks is taking it all in stride and shining brightly with every step. Her biggest challenge may be her upcoming album, but if you take into account her steady foundation, awe-inspiring talents and unlimited enthusiasm, her biggest challenge may just prove to be her greatest success.