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Jordin Sparks: Snapshot

Name
Jordin Sparks
Date of Birth
December 22, 1989
Birth Place
Phoenix, Ariz.
Jordin Sparks anxiously waited four years to audition for American Idol because she was only 12 when the show first aired. But once she turned 16 – the minimum age requirement for Idol contestants – Sparks blew the judges away with her rendition of Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me," eventually taking the crown as the youngest Idol winner in history.

Although Sparks is just old enough to legally drive, the Arizona-raised powerhouse isn't a rookie to fame: Her famous father Phillippi played cornerback in the NFL for the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. The talented teen previously auditioned for Star Search, but TV juggernaut American Idol made the bubbly beauty a household name.

Jordin Sparks: Video

Star Talk

Jordin Sparks is as charming in person as she was on Idol. The bubbly 17-year-old was delighted to answer questions at the PEOPLE offices in New York City. (01:58)

More Videos

Jordin Sparks: Five Fun Facts

  1. Jordin Sparks won a modeling contest for plus-size clothing brand Torrid. One of her ads appeared in the December 2006 issue of Seventeen. "We're waiting on pins and needles for this Idol stuff to be over so we can work with her again," Torrid's press rep told the New York Post.
  2. Jordin Sparks considers watching American Idol since the age of 12 as her training. "I know what the past idols have done and I know what looks good on TV and what looks not good," she told PEOPLE.
  3. The first time Jordin Sparks auditioned for American Idol in Pasadena, Calif. in 2006, she didn't make the cut. But she got a second chance months later when she took the Arizona Idol title.
  4. In May 2007, an estimated 5,000 fans weathered 100-degree heat and waited five hours to see their hometown-idol Jordin Sparks perform at Westgate City Center in Glendale, Ariz.
  5. Fashion designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka of Badgley Mischka created two stunning finale dresses for Jordin Sparks to wear on American Idol. "We kept thinking 'that's a beautiful young girl, she would look amazing in our clothes,'" Badgley told PEOPLE.

Jordin Sparks: Biography

1991

Jordin Sparks

No Baby Talk

At the tender age of 18 months, Sparks skips baby talk and finds her voice through singing. Her first songs are her ABC's and "Jesus Loves Me," according to her mother Jodi.

1993

Jordin Sparks

An Idol is Born

Sparks hones her performance skills in front of a captive audience: her infant brother, P.J. The family moves often to follow father Phillippi's NFL career, but they eventually settle in Glendale, Ariz. Sparks enters Friday night children singing contests at local restaurant Mr. Lucky's. "She didn't have to work for (her talent), she was a natural," J. David Sloan, former owner of Mr. Lucky's, tells the Arizona Republic in 2007. On a regular basis, she knocks them dead with her rendition of Martina McBride's "A Broken Wing," which she will later sing on national television.

2002

Jordin Sparks

Loving the Stage

Sparks, 13, is cast in an ensemble role in Phoenix's Valley Youth Theatre's production of The Wiz. "She was pretty young then," artistic director Bobb Cooper tells the New York Post. "She was good; she got even better." Later that year she appears in the theater's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella and the Sandra Day O'Connor High School's production of A Christmas Carol.

Read More on Jordin Sparks' Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Jim Cooper/AP

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): FOX; FOX; Allison Allen

Edited by Julia Wang

Jordin Sparks

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