The youngest winner of American Idol, Jordin Sparks is also the most successful with over 1.3 million albums sold, a fragrance line, a Broadway run and her starring role in the remake of the film Sparkle. This month, the daughter of former NFL cornerback, HYPERLINK "http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4087235/" Phillippi Sparks, talks Whitney, Simon Cowell and more.
Q: How did you stay grounded after Idol?
A: I’m still hanging on. I still feel like “Whoa, what is happening?” But it’s been a slow and steady rise. I would have to attribute it to my mom and my family. On my dad’s side, I’m the oldest of 23 grand kids. I’ll be 23 in December and then it goes down one year from there. And even before “Idol” they were watching my every move.
I didn’t know that my life could change so dramatically—again. Professionally, I didn’t think there could be something bigger for me than American Idol because it completely changed my life. But movies and acting is a different animal. I’m just buckling up my seatbelt and raising up my hands. I’m ready for the ride.
Q: Who was scarier, Whitney or Simon Cowell?
A: It’s funny—Simon is very blunt and says whatever is on his mind. I don’t think he has a filter, which is okay because he’s saying what a lot of people are thinking. Whitney had the same thing—she would definitely tell you what she was thinking, but it was more sarcastic and witty so it actually came out really humorous. But when she needed to turn it on, she would go from laughing and talking to ‘’Action”. “You ain’t getting no deal”. I was sad because I had to react to it but at the same time I was like “Oh, Whitney Houston is yelling at me. This is the most amazing thing ever.” It was fun to be a sponge and soak up those moments.
Q: You have judges, stylists and all of America telling you how you should be doing your career, how did you find your own voice?
A: It has to do with things that you go through and experiences you have with people. At 17, I believed everyone was happy for me and that everybody wanted to help. Then I realized that it’s not that way. Some people aren’t so nice and there are people who don’t want to see you succeed and who will pretend to be happy for you. And then being around people who say they are working on things for me and then drop the ball has made me a super detailed-oriented person. I have to know everything that’s happening.
Q: What have been the challenges after Idol?
A: 2011 was a pretty slow year I had just parted ways with my management, my label was hastling me because I hadn’t put music since 2009. And after I finished touring with New Kids On The Block I was sitting there asking, “Is this it?” It just seemed like everything was falling apart and nothing great was happening. And then Sparkle fell into my lap.