courtesy of Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks won "Idol" at the impressive age of 17, and since then the spunky songstress has been a bit busy. She saw her self-titled debut album go platinum and the first single on her second hit No.1 on the Billboard hot dance club play chart. She made her Broadway debut as Nina Rosario in "In the Heights" last fall, and this summer she'll go on tour with New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys. This week the Disney documentary, "African Cats," features a song sung by Sparks called "The World I Knew." An avid animal lover with three dogs of her own, Sparks was only too happy to be a part of the project, which is an up-close and personal look at the African cats that live on the Savannah. We caught up with Sparks to talk about the film and, of course, her fashion.
Tell us about "The World I Knew." You said the song resonated with you the first time you heard it.
I didn't even get through the first chorus and I was like, "I definitely want to sing this!" I related to it. The message is, as long as I have you with me-- whether it's your mom, your dad, your brother, a romantic relationship or a best friend-- as long as you have that one person to walk with you, you'll make it through anything. If I lost my voice tomorrow I know my family would be there for me and carry me through that. It's good to know you have that type of support system.
Speaking of family, you've talked a lot about how your three dogs, Noni, Maggie and Miles are incredibly important parts of yours. They even help you get over stage fright?
They do. I can talk to them and be like, "Oh my gosh, you guys, I'm so nervous!" I just pet them and it's calming. It's a calming thing. They came with me on tour so I felt like I had a little piece of home with me, and they lived with me in New York when I was doing Broadway for the first time. I was on my own, and it was so nice to open the door to the apartment and have the dogs there waiting.
Let's talk about your clothes in the video for "The World I Knew." I love the safari theme.
You know the layered tiered dress I'm wearing was actually a shirt. My stylist and I loved the way it looked so much when we belted it, but literally everything was hanging out. I was like, "I can't!" So she said I'm going to go get another one and we'll see what we can do. The day of the shoot we safety pined two of them together to make it a dress! You can't see my feet but I also had on these amazing Stuart Weitzman animal print-type shoes.
Where do you like to shop?
I love Laundry, Nicole Miller, Diane Von Furstenberg. Dolce & Gabana really know how to dress a woman. When a stylist is picking out things for me I love YSL and Louboutin shoes. But they go back to the store after the shoot is over. For myself I like shopping at Paige denim, J Brand, Joe's Jeans. I'll go to Buckle. I still love to go to the mall.
Do you ever bargain shop?
All the time. I was at a vintage store last week-- my friend and I went to try on crazy '80s prom dresses-- and I found a really cool dress that I got for 65 bucks. You guys will see me wear it soon. It fits perfectly. I go to Walmart and Target if I need something quick. So it ranges.
You're adventurous with your hair color. Right now purple is your color of choice.
Yes! I told my hairstylist a year ago that I wanted to try purple and he was like, "You are not dying your hair purple!" I let my highlights grow out and then, this past December, I told him that I still really wanted to do it. He said, "Hold on one second," and brought out these extension pieces that he'd been working on for a year. He wanted to get the color just right. Now my actual hair is dyed a darkish purple. Some of the extensions are a fuchsia- a lot of colors in the spectrum of purple. After Idol I dyed a couple of pieces of my hair orange. Then I did pink. At some point I had some red. I've always loved to change things up.
We have some questions for you that came right from our Twitter followers. They want to know, if you could duet with a country singer, male or female, who would it be?
Blake Shelton hands down. I've been a fan of his for a really, really long time. He has an amazing voice. I'd love to work with him one day.
What direction are you going in for your new album and when can we hear it?
I don't really have a formula when it comes to getting songs together. I just go with what feels good. What I fall in love with. So for this next record I want to keep growing. I just heard the final mastered version of my new single so hopefully in a couple of weeks-- the first week of May, the last week of April-- it will be coming out. It's very energetic and upbeat. It's got a lot of attitude. It's a side of me that fans haven't seen yet but it's a side that's always been there. I hope they're ready because it's going to be different.
Are we going to see you back up on the "Idol" stage this season?
I'm waiting for that phone call! I hope so. Only a few weeks left so I'm hoping that call happens soon.
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