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Report: 'American Idol' champ Jordin Sparks had formal vocal training

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/31/2007 

American Idol judge Randy Jackson called sixth-season winner Jordin Sparks "the most talented 17-year-old singer" he's ever seen.  But she apparently had some help in achieving such lofty praise.

"Jordin was just 14 years old when she studied with me in 2004," vocal coach Melissa Black told Star magazine, MSNBC reported Wednesday.  "Her mom, Jodi Sparks, and her grandmother, Pam Wiedmann -- who acts as her manager -- found me on the Internet. We were together for nine months of intense vocal work, with Jordin taking one 30-minute class a week at $25 per class... I knew she wouldn't take long to perfect her craft because she was so good."

While there's certainly nothing wrong with perfecting a skill in order to attain your dream, Black's claim could be considered a downer for those fans who thought Sparks' vocal abilities were au naturel.  According to Idol's website, when Sparks was asked if she had "any formal singing training" prior to appearing on the show, she simply answered "No."

Needless to say, Black reportedly said it "hurt for a week" to hear Sparks claim that she never had any formal training.

"Jordin didn't have to mention my name, but at least acknowledge you had training," she told Star, according to MSNBC.  "But I've moved on, and I hold my head up high."

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