Interview by Amy Nichole Harris
Jordin Sparks became the youngest winner of American Idol in May 2007. She followed her American Idol victory with the release of her self-titled debut album in 2007, which has gone platinum and has sold over 2 million copies worldwide. In a year of winning America’s biggest singing competition, completing a series of national and international tours, Jordin Sparks received further recognition as a talented singer in her own right: in addition to winning an American Music Award for Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist and receiving two MTV Video Music Award nominations for Best Female Video and Best New Artist; she earned one of the music industry’s highest honors with a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for “No Air” in 2008. “I will sing that song [“No Air”] for the rest of my life,” Sparks notes.
Jordin released her sophomore album, “Battlefield”, last July and is currently touring to promote the album. She will be coming to Cincinnati on Tuesday June 15, 2010 at the 20th Century Theater. Tickets for the “Jordin Sparks, The Battlefield Tour, Presented by MIKE AND IKE®”, are on sale now.
Amy: What was the biggest lifestyle change that you had after winning American Idol and releasing your debut album?
Jordin: Well for one, being on the road 300 days a year and living out of a suitcase! Being away from my family has definitely been a big change but singing for my job is amazing! I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Amy: What do you miss most from home when you are on the road?
Jordin: My family, my bed, my brother annoying me. Hahaha.
Amy: I know that you toured last year with Britney Spears on the Circus Tour. What was your funniest Britney tour story?
Jordin: I had to enter from beneath the stage every night and I don’t know how my head is still round.
Amy: What is your favorite song that you have written? What is your favorite song to perform live off the new album?
Jordin: I love all of them but if I had to choose it would probably be “Faith.” Anyone can relate to it and I just love how it turned out. I love performing the songs that everyone knows and I love hearing them sing along.
Amy: What is your favorite activity to do when you are not touring?
Jordin: Everything! Reading, spending time with my family, playing guitar, chilling with my best friends, and playing with my doggies.
Amy: You are involved in a ton of charity work including, Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center, Clothes off our Back, and Feeding America. Why is it so important to you to give back? Is there a charity that is near and dear to your heart and why?
Jordin: I’ve always wanted to give back and my family was involved in a lot of stuff before Idol. Once I won Idol I was really excited to make music of course, but to also use my name for something bigger than myself. I love working with all kinds of charities, as you mentioned. I also want to start working with or create a charity to stop teen violence.
Amy: I saw that you will soon begin an engagement on Broadway. How is preparing and performing on the Broadway stage different than performing for a concert tour? What have been some of the highlights for you so far?
Jordin: Well I’ll probably have to let you know what performing is like when I actually start to do it. But preparing is different because I have to learn lines and stage blocking. As far as the music, I have to memorize the songs and make sure I can tell the story through my voice. The highlight of touring is just being able to put a face to the people who voted and support me as well as being able to sing the songs that people haven’t heard on the radio.
Amy: What is your favorite U.S. tour city and venue to play in the US and why?
Jordin: Umm that’s a good question. I love playing in my hometown. There’s nothing like seeing your family sitting amongst fans and seeing the smiles on their faces. I love playing Boston. They always seem to be super hype. I love playing anywhere people are excited.
Amy: If you weren’t a musician what would you be doing?
Jordin: I’d probably still be pursuing music but going to college. I would love to work with kids…like be the singing nurse who gives them lollipops and band aids.
Amy: You have played and collaborated with some amazing artists. Who would be your dream collaboration?
Jordin: All the people I’ve worked with before, I would definitely love to work with again. I would love to work with John Mayer, Fergie, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder and do many more great talents. Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
Amy: What was the career moment where you felt most fulfilled?
Jordin: Singing the National Anthem at the Superbowl was one of the best moments ever. Also, performing for Bush while he was in office and at President Obama’s inauguration.
Amy: Some of my favorite So You Think You Can Dance moments happened as the performers danced to Jordin Sparks songs. I know you have also performed on the show live, but do you have any feelings as you see the choreography that is created to your music?
Jordin: When I saw them perform “No Air” a few seasons ago, it brought tears to my eyes. I watched it 10 times in a row. To see them express the story with their movements gave me goose bumps!