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Jordin Sparks Is Still Riding Her "Idol" High

of the Oakland Press

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By virtue of Lee DeWyze’s “American Idol” win last month, Jordin Sparks — who bested Blake Lewis for the 2007 crown — remains the show’s last female Idol.

But with Crystal Bowersox in the final two, Sparks knew she risked losing that distinction this year.

“I’m kind of like, ‘OK, what’s going on here?’ ” acknowledges the Phoenix-born Sparks, 20, who’s released two albums since her run on “Idol.” “When Crystal and Lee were in the finale, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, there hasn’t been a girl-guy finale since me and Blake,’ so I was real excited to watch it.

“I did vote for one more than the other — but I’m not gonna say who. I just hope they do really, really well, and I think they’re both going to be fine, no matter what they do.”

Sparks has certainly been on of the more successful “Idol” winners. Her self-titled 2007 debut went platinum, while last year’s “Battlefield” debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 while its title track was a Top 10 hit. She won an American Music Award and was nominated for a Grammy, and she recorded a new version of the theme song for Walt Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” for the upcoming Blu-ray edition of the film. And from August through November Sparks make her Broadway debut as the female lead in the musical “In the Heights.”

Before that, however, Sparks is enjoying her first-ever headlining tour, which comes after high-profile opening stints for the Jonas Brothers and Britney Spears.

“I’m so excited now, because instead of five songs I have an hour and 17 songs,” says Sparks, whose extra-musical projects include a campaign to discourage teens from texting while driving. “I’m adjusting to being on stage a lot longer and to having opening acts, ’cause that’s what I was until now.

“The cool thing is people come to my meet-and-greets I have before my show and tell me, ‘Hey, I saw you with the Jonas Brothers and I wanted to come see you on your tour,’ and that’s awesome. That’s what you want to do is have their fans start loving you, too, and want to come back and see you, as well as have my own fans. That’s pretty great.”

Jordin Sparks and Kate Voegele perform Wednesday, June 16, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusic theatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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