Sparks finds new light in ‘Sparkle' debut
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — When most singers make the leap from recording artist to movie star, it’s usually a well-calculated career maneuver that requires show-business acumen from an army of agents, acting coaches, managers and publicists. However, for bubbly sixth season “American Idol” champion Jordin Sparks, the jump from stage to screen just, well, kinda happened.
The way Sparks tells the story of how she became the title character in a remake of the 1976 musical “Sparkle” is that her music career was unexpectedly in flux last year while she was parting ways with her management and her label was undergoing a shake-up. Unable to record a new album and uncertain of her future, Sparks looked to another passion — acting.
“I was in this weird limbo and `Sparkle’ just fell into my lap,” Sparks says. “My agent sent it to me and said, `What do you think? Do you wanna audition?’ I read the script and fell in love with it. I related a lot to Sparkle. She’s a girl with a dream, and she’s gonna do whatever it takes to get to the top. I know something about a girl who that did that as well.”
Sparks won the “Idol” crown at the age of 17 and is now 22. She’s grown up in that time, losing her chubby teen frame for a svelte sexy figure, and has a regular boyfriend in fellow singer Jason Derulo. “Sparkle” represents her growth as an actress as well.
Sparks refers to herself as a “theater geek”: The Phoenix-born singer says she saw the musical revue “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” on Broadway “like seven or eight times” while growing up in New Jersey during football season (Sparks’ father, Phillippi Sparks, played for the New York Giants). Besides a couple of guest starring stints on tween TV shows and numerous drama club and community theater credits, she also had a 12-week run in the Broadway musical “In the Heights” in 2010.
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