Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks may have been the youngest American Idol when she won the title on the reality show's sixth season, but the Glendale, Arizona resident had already packed plenty of accomplishments into 17 years. The daughter of Phillippi Sparks, former left cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys and former defensive back for the New York Giants, Sparks had no formal vocal training, but showed a flair for singing while still a toddler and was drawn to performing of all kinds at an early age. By her early teens, Sparks was singing, acting in plays and modeling, and already winning acclaim for her talents. Along with performing with Alice Cooper and Michael W. Smith, she was Coca-Cola's Rising Star in 2002 and made her recording debut with 2003's For Now EP with CCM artist Matthew Ward and engineer Gary Leach. The following year, she won two awards at the 2004 Gospel Music Association Academy, placed second overall in that year's Music in the Rockies competition, and appeared on America's Most Talented Kids twice. In 2006, she won a plus-size model search held by the Torrid clothing line and appeared in an ad for Torrid in the December issue of Seventeen magazine.