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Jordin Sparks to open for Spears

Jordin Sparks, a former "American Idol" winner and platinum-selling recording artist with ties to the Red River Valley, will join Kristinia DeBarge in opening the Sept. 12 Britney Spears concert at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

Sparks
According to a press release on Spears' official Web site dated Friday, Sparks will be the opening act for the U.S. portion of "The Circus Starring Britney Spears" tour.

Jordin Sparks, a former "American Idol" winner and platinum-selling recording artist with ties to the Red River Valley, will join Kristinia DeBarge in opening the Sept. 12 Britney Spears concert at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

Sparks, a 19 Recordings/Jive Records artist, will join The Circus Starring Britney Spears as a special guest on the second North American leg of the tour, it was announced Tuesday.

Sparks will perform at shows including those in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Detroit, Chicago and Grand Forks before wrapping up Sept. 26-27 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Up-and-coming acts

Kristinia DeBarge will join the tour for all dates. Up-and-coming acts Girlicious and One Call will appear in select cities but not in Grand Forks.

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Sparks, 19, became famous in 2007 when she became the youngest contestant ever to win TV's "American Idol." She performed the national anthem for Super Bowl XLII and was named Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist at the American Music Awards, according to a news release.

And she has a connection to this area. Sparks' great-grandparents, Gladys and Jim Rutherford and Leah Wiedmann, lived in Fargo when Sparks was competing on "American Idol."

Her grandparents, Jim and Pam (Rutherford) Wiedmann of Glendale, Ariz., grew up in Fargo and Hillsboro, N.D., respectively, and Jim Wiedmann is a UND grad who lettered in football from 1968 to 1970. Sparks grew up in Glendale.

Sparks' second album, "Battlefield," was released earlier this year. Her previous release, "Jordin Sparks," featured platinum-certified Top 10 single "Tattoo" and smash hit single "No Air."

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