Jordin Sparks Biography: In Her Own Words – Video Exclusive, News, Photos
Jordin Brianna Sparks Thomas is an American singer and actress. She is best known for pop songs “No Air” and “Tattoo” but has also starred in movies and the Broadway musical Waitress. In this biography, Sparks tells her story in her own words.
Jordin Sparks Bio: Age, Early Life, Family, Education
Sparks was born on December 22, 1989 (Sparks age: 29) in Phoenix, Arizona. She was raised in Phoenix and parts of New Jersey by her mother Jodi and father Phillipi, then a defensive back for the New York Giants. Sparks’ brother, Phillipi “P.J.,” Sparks, Jr., joined the family in 1991. They lived in Ridgewood, New Jersey throughout Phillipi’s career with the Giants before moving to Phoenix, Arizona.
Sparks, a lifelong evangelical Christian, attended Northwest Community Christian School in Phoenix up until high school. She attended Sandra Day O’Connor High School until 2006, when her grandmother began homeschooling her so she could focus on singing.
Jordin Sparks Bio: Exclusive Interview on Her Musical Roots
In September 2019, Sparks sat down with uInterview to discuss her musical roots. She explained that music has been a part of her life since before she could remember. “My nan, she has video of me sitting on her lap at eighteen months old,” she said. “And she’s playing jingle bells, and I’m singing it word for word.”
Sparks detailed how she sang for her choir, school and worship team before doing so competitively. She told uInterview exclusively, “I was doing local competitions, and then those turned into national competitions. And I auditioned for Star Search, and I did America’s Most Talented Kid, and I did all these crazy things.”
However, Sparks’ singing went unpaid until she was 12 years old. “The first time that I remember actually getting paid for singing or winning was [at] the Arizona State Fair Coca-Cola Karaoke Contest,” she explained to uInterview. She remembers flipping through music binders without finding “one song that stood out,” choosing instead to sing a cappella. She wound up winning the contest and considers it the unofficial beginning of her musical career. “I’ve loved music ever since,” Sparks said. “It’s been Plan A or Plan A; there was never really a Plan B.”
Check the top of this page for the full autobiographical interview.
Jordin Sparks Bio: Early Career
Sparks hit her stride in 2007, when she became the youngest-ever American Idol champion at only 17 years old. Later that year, she released her first self-titled album. On it were Billboard Hot 100 top-ten singles “Tattoo” and “No Air.” Sparks performed the former at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The latter, featuring Chris Brown, is the third-highest-selling single by any American Idol contestant. It earned the singers nominations for a Teen Choice Award, a Video Music Award and a Grammy.
In 2008, Sparks performed the song “If You Dream” in More Than a Game, a biopic about LeBron James’ early basketball career. She soon came out with her second studio album, Battlefield (2009), which debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 chart. Its titular song hit number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. Sparks performed “Battlefield” in an episode of The Suite Life on Deck, starring Dylan Sprouse and Cole Sprouse.
2009 was an eventful year for Sparks. She appeared in several music videos, including one for her hit song “S.O.S. (Let the Music Play),” which she performed on The New Paul O’Grady Show. Sparks also worked with singer Guy Sebastian to release the song “Art of Love” and its music video. Later in 2009, Sparks made guest appearances on the shows Live from Studio Give and The Bold and the Beautiful. She also sang “I’ll be Home for Christmas” at the National Christmas Tree Lighting at the White House.
Sparks appeared in two more music videos the following year: Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat” and her own “The World I Knew.” She also made her voice acting debut as the Blue Mermaid in the children’s TV series Team Umizoomi and was featured on an episode of the talk show Let’s Be Honest.
In 2012, Sparks performed “I’m Every Woman” and “How Will I Know” for the show VH1 Divas. But her biggest project of the year was the film Sparkle. Sparks starred in this movie, a fictional throwback to the girl groups of the late 1960s, alongside Whitney Houston. Sparks performed multiple songs for the soundtrack, including “Jump,” “One Wing,” “Love Will” “Hooked on Your Love,” “Look Into Your Heart,” “Something He Can Feel,” and “Celebrate.” This last track, written by R. Kelly, was nominated for Best Song at the 2013 Black Reel Awards.
More music videos, for “This Is My Wish” and Jason Derulo’s “Marry Me,” came out in 2013. However, Sparks was more focused on branching out in her acting. She performed “Christmas Time to Me” in The Best Man Holiday and appeared in an episode of the hit series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Sparks also acted in two films: Dear Secret Santa and The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete. Finally, she made a cameo in the music video for “The Way,” a popular song she wrote for Ariana Grande and Mac Miller.
Sparks continued performing throughout 2014. Her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was featured on the TV series Great Performances. She also appeared in the online series Todd’s Pop Song Reviews and guest-starred on CollegeHumor Originals. More artistically, Sparks played the role of Shasta Carvell in Left Behind, an action film starring Nicolas Cage and Lea Thompson.
In 2015, Sparks focused less on her acting and more on her music, although she did appear in the movie The Grace of Jake. Coca-Cola selected Sparks for their “Come On #MakeItHappy” music video, along with Brent Rivera and Victoria Justice. Individually, Sparks released “Right Here, Right Now” and “They Don’t Give.” Sparks also worked with rapper 2 Chainz on the music and video for “Double Tap.”
Sparks’ final music video came the next year in the form of “Water Guns,” which she shot with Broadway singer and LGBTQ+ icon Todrick Hall. Sparks later dropped in on the shows Zoe Ever After and The Real O’Neals. In 2018, she returned to voice acting for the kids’ movie Show Dogs. She also played Bridgette in the family drama God Bless the Broken Road, most notable for her rendition of “Jesus Paid It All.”
Sparks’ latest completed project was the Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash. In this tribute to the popular 1993 Halloween movie, Sparks performed “I Put A Spell on You” as a witch, alongside Dove Cameron and Sofia Carson. As for what comes next, Sparks is slated to play Becca in the TV movie Unrelated, which will premiere in 2019.
Jordin Sparks Bio: Exclusive Interview on New Album, Songwriting, Collaborations
Sparks discussed her upcoming album exclusively with uInterview. It currently boasts eight songs and will include more in the future. Of the working album, Sparks said it was “eclectic – like me, I guess!” She explained that certain songs have pop undertones, while others sound more country and others R&B. Sparks also noted that, while she’s “very happy in [her] life,” she enjoys singing sad songs like the ballads and power anthems on her album.
So far, the album features no other artists, but Sparks hopes to change that. “I have been writing down a list of people I want to collaborate with,” she told uInterview. “I’ve got all my solo stuff, and now [I’m] trying to figure out the collaborations that I wanna do. So I’ve got a list, so we just have to see if I can actually make them happen.”
Check out the full interview below:
Jordin Sparks Bio: Exclusive Interview on ‘Waitress,’ Broadway, Sara Bareilles
Sparks also spoke with uInterview about Waitress, the hit Broadway musical created by singer Sara Bareilles. Sparks is playing the lead role of Jenna Hutcherson in her first-ever theatrical experience.
Sparks described her character as “really strong, even though sometimes she doesn’t know it or believe it.” She explained that Jenna struggles with her abusive husband throughout the musical and manages to remain loving. “She’s really kind; she’s always thinking of other people and how she can help them,” Sparks told uInterview. “And I think that’s a beautiful thing about her character: In the midst of everything and the turmoil she’s going through, she still has that innate kindness about her.”
She noted that there were many similarities between Jenna’s personality and her own. “I feel like my kindness can sometimes be mistaken for weakness,” Sparks told uInterview. “Which it’s not! It’s not a weakness. But I always want to help other people. I always want to make people smile and, you know, to help them have a good time or work through things that they need to work through.”
Sparks conceded that Waitress is “a huge commitment.” She told uInterview about her initial reactions to the immensity of the task. “I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can do this,’” she said. “It took a second to actually get into everything and get into the groove of things. But once I did … it’s been really great to learn this character and to put myself into her as well.”
No matter how overwhelming her Broadway endeavors become, Sparks knows she can always turn to her family for support. “When I get home, you know, my son is there,” she explained to uInterview. She is always grateful “to turn off that performance side” and to “be really present in the moment with [her] son and with [her] husband” after work.
See Sparks in Waitress through October 27, 2019. Get tickets here.
Check out the full interview here.
Jordin Sparks Bio: Dating, Jason Derulo, Husband, Children
Sparks dated singer Jason Derulo from 2011 to 2014, but the relationship ended poorly and abruptly. Sparks has revealed little about the breakup, even in her autobiographical uInterviews. Rumors circulated in the media that Derulo simply stopped speaking to Sparks after she left for a business trip.
Sparks married author Dana Isaiah on July 16, 2017. Their son, Dana Isaiah Thomas, Jr., was born in 2018. The family currently resides in Glendale, Arizona, and leads a private life despite Sparks’ Broadway success.