Did you know that Jordin Sparks’ dad is Phillippi Sparks? Yep, it turns out the football player is the singer’s father, who you may remember for his career in the NFL. Per ESPN, Phillippi played in the league for almost a decade from 1992 until 2001 (six years before Jordin made her debut on “American Idol,” if you’re keeping count!) Much of that time was spent playing for the New York Giants (he signed in 1992 and stayed until 2000), with Phillippi opening up to New York Times in 1995 about how he changed his attitude off the pitch to be a better family man for Jordin, her brother, P.J. Sparks, and his now ex-wife, Jodi Sparks. “I just want to take care of business, do what I have to do, and my happiness comes from my wife and kids,” he said.
Because of her dad’s ties football ties to New York, Jordin (who was born in Arizona) grew up in New Jersey, which, in turn, impacted her own future career. “We lived in New Jersey, so I went to Broadway a lot and saw plays and I just loved seeing people being able to play a different character and be able to be themselves at the end of the night. So, I’ve always wanted to do it,” she told BlackFilm.com in 2012 ahead of “Sparkle.” Phillippi then went on to spend his final season in the NFL at the Dallas Cowboys.