Soul Train Awards Artist Spotlight: Jordin Sparks

“See everybody’s been down in luck

Now finally things are looking up

The sun is chased all the rain away

No more obstacles in our away

It’s time to celebrate”

A celebration of life will be had at this year’s Soul Train Music Awards. The Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks collaboration “Celebrate” from the movie Sparkle is nominated as the best gospel inspiration performance.

The world became aware of the magnitude of Jordin Sparks’ talent when she won millions of viewer votes and was crowned our ‘American Idol’ at the tender age of 17. That achievement during the sixth season of the show made her the youngest female to take the title.  According to her website biography, Jordin reflects on winning the coveted title: “I didn’t know it when we were doing the show, but all the interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff prepared me for now. Being on Idol was exciting, exhilarating and slightly traumatic. I won the show I was a fan of, what could be better?”  Fast forward to 2007. Sparks released her self-titled debut album which spawned two top ten singles on the Billboard charts–“Tattoo” and “No Air”. Sparks added another accomplishment under her belt, earning her first Grammy Award nomination with Chris Brown for the duet “No Air.” The single is also one of the highest selling singles by an American Idol contestant to date. In 2009, the starlet released her second album Battlefield, which showcases her songwriting skills. In 2010, Jordin revealed her business savvy with the debut of her first fragrance line Because of You, paying tribute to the fans that have helped her on her journey to stardom.

Just like her Idol predecessor Fantasia, Sparks soon made the transition to acting.  She made guest appearances on shows like The Suite Life on Deck and Big Time Rush. The singer then took a leap onto the Broadway stage with a role in the musical In the Heights. Sparks’ big silver screen debut came as a lead actress in the 2012 film Sparkle, alongside the legendary late great Whitney Houston.

Hollywood executive DeVon Franklin says working with Jordin Sparks on the movie Sparkle was an amazing experience.  “Jordin is an incredible artist and for her to have those moments with Whitney and be mentored by her was just incredible.  The song ‘Celebrate’ just speaks to that. I’m thankful that the Soul Train Awards saw fit to honor their contribution to the film and to the world.”

The song “Celebrate” is a pop-infused dance song written and produced by R. Kelly. The song, reportedly Houston’s final recording, is an invitation to move past the tears and embrace the music and, most importantly, life. The song showcases Sparks’ and Houston’s vocal harmonies, but gives it a disco-infused element that makes you want to get up and dance, while encouraging you to just…”Celebrate!”

Follow Jordin Sparks on Twitter @JordinSparks and check out her website

 -Shameika Rene’

Shameika Rene’ is a journalist of all trades. She can usually be found producing television news and writing for various websites such as Charlotte Vibe, Creative Loafing, or her own site, She’s also a special guest contributor on The Social Hour on Urban Soul Radio. Follow her on Twitter @mofochronicles.



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