Although she never had received any formal vocal training, Glendale, AZ's Jordin Sparks managed to make her way into the final 24 on the sixth season of American Idol. Only 17 at the time of her audition, she was one of that year's youngest competitors; as the competition winded down in May 2007, Sparks found her fiercest competition eliminated, and was eventually crowned the next American Idol. She continued her music career and eventually moved to acting, making her film debut in Sparkle (2012), which was Whitney Houston's film final role. Her next major film role was in 2014's apocalyptic thriller Left Behind.
Biography by Perry Seibert
- Was named the Coca Cola Rising Star at the Arizona State Fair in 2002.
- Performed in high-school productions of A Christmas Carol and Footloose.
- Sang at the memorial service for Pat Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinals player who was killed in action in Afghanistan.
- Sang the national anthem at the Arizona Cardinals' home opener in September 2006.
- Won a local Fox-affiliate-sponsored contest called Arizona Idol, which sent her to the American Idol auditions in Seattle as the prize.
- Winner of Season 6 of American Idol (2007); runner-up was Blake Lewis.