RECLAIMS HER VOICE
BY TOMÁS ROMERO / PHOTOGRAPHS BY DIEGO UCHITEL /
AS YOU GROW OLDER, YOU WILL DISCOVER THAT YOU HAVE TWO HANDS, ONE FOR HELPING YOURSELF, THE OTHER FOR HELPING OTHERS
Grammy-nominated multi-hyphenate Jordin Sparks has been a household name since taking home the crown as the youngest winner ever on American Idol at the age of 17. Since then, she has released a string of best-selling albums and singles, including the certified platinum “No Air,” “Battlefield,” “Tattoo,” and “Art of Love.” Sparks has performed for two sitting U.S. presidents, the Queen of the Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, and worked with the likes of Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, and Dolly Parton.
Since breaking into acting with her stellar turn in the 2012 remake of the Irene Cara classic, Sparkle, Sparks has worked steadily in front of and behind the scenes as an actor and producer on a number of projects for TV and film. Sparks has also appeared on Broadway in the Tony-winning musicals Waitress and In The Heights and returned to the small screen with splashy, fan-favorite turns on The Masked Singer and Dancing with the Stars.
A dedicated wife, mother, and entrepreneur Sparks has also launched three best-selling perfume brands. She also regularly lends her voice to amplify vital social awareness of women’s health issues through the Hard Rock Heals Foundation and Women Who Rock.
Throughout her journey, Sparks’ faith has been a guiding light. Her ability to overcome challenges, embrace change, and stay true to herself reflects her unwavering faith in her abilities and a higher purpose. With gratitude for her loved ones and the lessons she’s learned, Sparks remains committed to touching lives with her music and uplifting messages.
In a candid conversation with Ebby’s Arts & Entertainment Editor, Tomás Romero, Sparks offered insights into her life beyond the spotlight. The interview took place after a recent photoshoot for Ebby Magazine at the luxurious Hotel Per La in downtown L.A. The discussion covered topics close to Sparks’ heart, including family, faith, fitness, and her profound reconnection with music.
In Jordin Sparks’ latest tracks, “Cool,” “Bad Thoughts,” and “Look Who’s Laughing Now,” swiftly sold out within two hours, her powerful vocals intertwine with an infectious beat, creating an anthem of resilience and empowerment that’s captured the hearts of fans worldwide. The track’s success signifies a new era in music engagement and highlights the transformative potential of NFTs in reshaping the music industry.
What is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were coming up?
JS: That’s a good question. I think there’s a lot of different answers I can give. Currently, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I didn’t know what I was really getting into when I was younger. You know? I was 17. And I was just a big fan of this show called American Idol, so all I was thinking was, Wow, I’m here, and there’s the lights and the cameras, and Ryan Seacrest is sitting next to me!
I wasn’t really thinking about contracts and people telling me what to do, you know? And that’s not to say that I haven’t had an incredible career. I am so grateful for everything that I’ve gotten to do and the things that I’ve put out and accomplished. My songs have taken me everywhere, but I feel like now, at this point in my life, with my music in particular, I’m kind of laser-focused on what I’m writing and what I’m doing. I’m independent now. So that brings a whole new creative level of freedom that I didn’t have when I was first signed. And so I’m just really excited to be in this space of being able to have the freedom to do what I want to do, sound how I want to sound, say what I want to say, write what I want to write. So, to answer your question, I guess I wish I would have known how to say no more often — like no as a complete sentence — and not felt obligated to say yes to everything, especially to people who were working for me. That is something that I wish I had known at 17.
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