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Before American Idol viewers decided to vote for the same guitar-playing male every season (David Cook...Kris Allen... Lee DeWyze), they selected Jordin Sparks as their champion.

We've been big fans of the talented singer since since she took the Fox stage and we were lucky enough to speak with her this week, as she took time away from her summer tour. We thank Jordin for her time and we present this exclusive interview below...

Nothing But Sparks

What has the American Idol experience been like for you? Can it be compared to what you imagined it would be like?
I imagined it would be easy, just a singing competition. HA! It was a lot of work and pretty stressful. But I made friendships that will last forever and I am really happy with how it turned out.

You've sung with Chris Brown. You've sung at the Super Bowl. What has been the most memorable professional experience for you?
Well, the fact that I get to sing for my job is the best thing. Everything else, the duet, the Super Bowl, touring... it's all a bonus.

Idol has received some criticism for naming three consecutive winners that were all very similar. Any thoughts on that?
I definitely think that when the show started to allow instruments, it opened itself up to a whole bunch of people who wouldn't have auditioned before. So I'm glad those people can have the opportunity as well. But the show shouldn't receive criticism for naming winners the audience voted for.

Any thoughts on Simon leaving?
It's bittersweet. Simon was made out to be the villain. I'm going to miss him for sure... It's going to be so different without [Paula and Simon]. I wish them nothing by the best in whatever they do moving forward.

What was it like to participate in the We Are the World remake?
It was amazing for me. The original is such a classic and pretty much everyone knows it... to see all the artists there for a cause bigger than ourselves was so humbling.

This is your first-ever solo tour. Talk about your plans and hopes  for it: 
I've been so used to being the opening act. I'm adjusting to having more songs to sing, going on later, etc. But I've been having so much fun!

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Jordin Sparks is off to Broadway.

The season six winner of American Idol is the latest finalist to land a role on stage, following in the talented footsteps of Clay Aiken and Constantine Maroulis, the latter of whom was even nominated for a Tony Award.

Beginning on August 19, Sparks will star in In the Heights, a musical set in the Dominican-American community of New York's Washington Heights. She'll play the character of Nina Rosario for 12 weeks, through November 14.

In January, former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu debuted in the lead of the play. He's received sold reviews for it.

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Not so fast, Aaron Kelly!

While American Idol viewers are already comparing the aforementioned season nine contestant with David Archuleta, the former runner-up proved this week that he won't be replaced without a fight.

The talented young singer took to the stage with Jordin Sparks at the 2010 Jordin Sparks Experience, a pre-Super Bowl event held at Miami Beach on Wednesday night. Don't they look adorable together?

The former American Idol alumni performed a duet to “No Air," the single Sparks originally made famous with Chris Brown.

Could she have replaced Brown with anyone more opposite from him? We doubt it. This, of course, is a big compliment to David. The day he beats his girlfriend is the day Jon Gosselin starts caring about his kids.

Watch the pair entertain the crowd below.

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A pair of contrasting celebrities celebrate birthdays today.

First up, Ali Lohan turns 16. She's still too young to go clubbing with her screwed up sister or wear a bathing suit that exposes her cleavage - but, hey, at least she can earn her learner's permit in some states!

Ali is on record as saying she wants to follow in Lindsay's famous footsteps, so expect a solid, Mean Girls-like comedy from her in the near future; followed by a series of box office busts, drunk driving arrests and cocaine smudges on her nostrils.

For now, let's try to celebrate her quasi innocence while it lasts. Enjoy the photo montage below...

  • Lindsay's Sister
  • Ali Lohan Image

Jordin Sparks also celebrates a birthday today. The former American Idol champion turns 20.

She can't drink legally for another year, but we can all raise a glass in appreciation of this seemingly normal, grounded, talented singer. She's the anti-Ali Lohan in every possible way, even swearing off sex until marriage.

Send in your birthday wishes to Jordin - and to Ali, if you really want to - right now and click on the following pics of Sparks to enlarge each one...

  • Pic of Jordin Sparks
  • I Won

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

We hear a lot these days about Adam Lambert, Kris Allen and the season eight finalists on American Idol. For good reason, they rule!

But let's take a moment and recognize the talented season six champion, Jordin Sparks, who has enjoyed a solid career in the spotlight since her victory in 2007.

Jordin's most impressive accomplishment? Dueting with Chris Brown on "No Air" and coming out of it without a black eye! That's not as easy as it sounds.

Over the summer, Sparks has sported a pair of contrasting hairstyles. She looks cute in both, but we're asking readers to choose their favorite. Study the photos below and then vote in our poll...

  • Nothing But Sparks
  • Jordin Sparks Bangs

Which Jordin Sparks style do you prefer?

 

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The circus just got a lot more talented.

Jordin Sparks announced last week that she's joining Britney Spears for the second leg of the latter's North American Circus Tour. Said the American Idol champion:

"Britney's show is incredible and for me to be a part of it is a great opportunity,"

Sparks will perform on the U.S. portion of the tour, which includes concerts in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philly, Miami, Detroit, Chicago and Las Vegas.

We wonder if Britney is afraid of being overshadowed by Sparks. Or if she even knows who Sparks is. Or has a clue what time zone she's currently in.

  • Jordin Sparks Image
  • It is Britney, Bitch

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Paula Abdul's manager says his client has not been offered a contract to return to American Idol.

Simon Cowell says he definitely wants his fellow judge and occasional flirt to come back next season.

What do past Idol contestants say about the possibility of Abdul's absence from the show?

We couldn't get a hold of Adam Lambert because he's on the road touring, but Jordin Sparks was fully on Paula's side in an interview with Extra this week:

“Oh my gosh, they need to keep Paula,” the season six champion said. “It would be so different without her on the show... She was the one who usually came back and was like, ‘Are you guys doing okay? Are you fine?’ And I definitely think they need her. She’s amazing and deserves it.”

Pic of Jordin Sparks

Despite Jordin's kind words, Abdul might still be replaced on the show.

If that happens, who do you think should take her spot?

 

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Are Jordin Sparks and Steph Jones, a singer-songwriter and ex-model to whom she has been romantically linked, ready to take it to the next level?

"We don't know whether or not to go further or to just keep the friendship," the singer, 19, told People at the 57th Annual BMI Pop Awards. "It's crazy. We've got the feelings, but we don't know whether or not to say it out loud."

One thing is for sure: Steph Jones keeps her feeling bubbly inside: "He's a really good guy," the sixth American Idol champ says. "A lot of fun."

So how did the two initially link up? Jordin Sparks proudly admits it was she who made the first move: "I met him two years ago," she says.

"He was writing for Blake Lewis, who got second place [on Season 6 of American Idol]. I was like, 'Can I get your contact information because you are a songwriter?' I was still working on my album and he was the only person I knew in L.A."

"Every time I would come I would say, 'Hey, you want to hang out?' "

They did just that.

The pair have been seen cheering at L.A.'s Lakers-Rockets playoff game at L.A.'s Staples Center and slow dancin' to Michael Buble's live rendition of (the appropriately titled) "Me and Mrs. Jones" during the Gamble and Huff icon tribute.

"We've gotten really close," Jordin confirms, although the question of whether the two will start dating officially is still up in the air. For now.

"We'll see what happens," says Sparks.

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American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and Steph Jones, her model/singer beau, took in the sights at the Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets game last night in L.A.

They look like a very happy couple ...

Sparks, Jordin

Houston-born Steph, 24, was pulling for the visitors, Tweeting “Cali is mad quiet [right] now… I can here a pen drop n this bad boy… LETS GO ROCKETS!!!!!”

Hope Steph's other traits make up for his lack of spelling acumen.

The American Idol winner, 19, offered her own post-game reactions via Twitter: “What an amazing game to go to! So much drama! Whooooooo! 1-1 this is gonna be an awesome series! (still not rooting for LA) LOL!”

The Lakers ultimately shut down the Rockets, 111-98, evening the series 1-1 and leaving Steph Jones disappointed. Oh well. At least he has Jordin Sparks.

Click to enlarge more photos of Jordin and Steph ...

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Today's two biggest celebrity birthdays have next to nothing in common.

Jordin Sparks won the sixth season of American Idol, and almost more significantly, is an idol American girls can actually look up to. Her down-to-earth nature, self-confidence and family-first values make this 19-year-old a rare star in this era.

Ali Lohan, who turns 37 15 today? She's a train wreck in training.

Not entirely of her own volition, of course. With mom Dina Lohan pimping her hard, Ali has no choice but to become a raging crack whore for the entertainment industry and follow in the twisted, drug-addled footsteps of big sis Lindsay.

Emancipate yourself, Ali. Do it soon. New York courts are so liberal, they might actually go for it. Then move in with Jordin. There's still time!!

Anyway. Here's a photo tribute to the birthday girls. Click to enlarge ...

  • Ali Lohan Image
  • I Won

Jordin Sparks Biography

Sparks Smiles Congrats to Jordin Sparks, the sixth-ever American Idol! This young, adorable singer has a very bright future ahead of her. We can't wait... More »
Born
Birthplace
Glendale, Arizona
Full Name
Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks Quotes

Sleep as much as you can because you don't get any sleep. It's a year later and I still haven't gotten a whole eight hours of sleep yet ... I'm still reeling from winning last year. But, I guess I would say just try and enjoy every moment you have.

Jordin Sparks [to David Cook]

It's not bad to wear a promise ring because not everybody - guy or girl - wants to be a slut.

Jordin Sparks
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