Date of Birth: December 22, 1989
To say Jordin Sparks has had a whirlwind career would be an understatement. She's known as American Idol's youngest winner and the girl who proved reality shows could still produce relevant, successful artists.
Jordin was born in Phoenix, Arizona to professional football player Phillippi Sparks. While she'd later return to the copper state, she spent most of her formative years in Ridgewood, New Jersey due to her father's job as a defensive back for the New York Giants.
From an early age, Jordin knew singing was her future. At 17, she began homeschooling in order to properly focus on her music aspirations and to lay the foundation for an impressive career. She made a name for herself singing the national anthem at local sporting events for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks and in 2004, got her first brush with fame by performing alongside Alice Cooper during his Christmas show.
American Idol wasn't Jordin's first talent competition. She practically made a career out of winning various showcases such as CocaCola's Rising Star, America's Most Talented Kids and the Gospel Music Association Academy's Overall Spotlight Award.
In the summer of 2006 Jordin decided to take her future into her own hands and audition for the Fox talent show American Idol. However, she failed her initial audition in Los Angeles. After winning Arizona Idol, a talent competition hosted by a local Fox affiliate, she auditioned again in Seattle and received her golden ticket to Hollywood.
She quickly developed a devout fan base, calling themselves "sparkplugs" and in May 2007, in a showdown with beatboxer Blake Lewis, Jordin was crowned the youngest winner in American Idol history.
In November of that year, Jordin released her self-titled debut album. Her second single, "No Air"a duet with Chris Brownpeaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold more than three million copies, making it the best selling single of any American Idol winner.
While singing was always a passion of Jordin's, her early school days in drama class developed a love of acting as well. In 2009, Jordin made her acting debut on the Disney Channel's The Suite Life on Deck, guest starring as herself, following it up with an appearance on the Nickelodeon comedy Big Time Rush. Her biggest acting challenge came in 2010 when she landed a role on Broadway in the Tony award-winning production In the Heights. Jordin took part in the show for 12 consecutive weeks.
In 2012, Jordin made her feature film debut in the 1960's Motown musical Sparkle, playing the title character. Inspired by The Supremes, the movie is notable for being Whitney Houston's last film.