With millions of copies of her singles sold worldwide, season six winner Jordin Sparks clearly emerged as one of the most successful artists to emerge from the pop cultural behemoth, "American Idol" (Fox, 2002-16). Jordin Brianna Sparks was born on Dec. 22, 1989 in Phoenix, AZ to Jodi Weidmann Sparks and Phillippi Sparks, a former NFL defensive back. Singing since she was two years old, Sparks frequently entered local children's singing contests in nearby Glendale where her family resided. At 13, she appeared in a local production of the musical "The Wiz" (1974), and later in Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic tale "Cinderella" (1957). She attended Glendale's Sandra Day O'Connor High School through her freshman year, but was home schooled after that so she could focus on her budding musical career. In 2004, Sparks tried her luck at numerous talent contests, including "America's Most Talented Kid" (NBC, 2003-06) and Coca-Cola's Rising Star. She also won two Gospel Music Association Academy awards, which led to an introduction to Christian contemporary singer Michael W. Smith, whom she worked for as a background vocalist for his Christmas 2005 and 2006 tours. While singing was her first love, Sparks also explored other avenues to showcase her talent, including modeling in 2006 for the women's plus-size clothing line, Torrid.