Celebrity Birthdays, December 22: Jordin Sparks, Ralph Fiennes

By Marie Blake,

Actress, singer, and American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, and actor Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter) are celebrating birthdays today.

Jordin Sparks, 24

Jordin Sparks turns 24 today. After dropping out of high school to be home schooled in order to spend more time on her singing, Sparks won numerous competitions including Coca-Cola's Rising Star, the Gospel Music Association Academy's Overall Spotlight Award, America's Most Talented Kids, Colgate Country Showdown, and the 2006 Drug Free AZ Superstar Search. Sparks sang the national anthem for a few sporting events, appeared with Alice Cooper for his 2004 Christmas show, and toured with Michael W. Smith, a Christian contemporary singer, in 2006.

Sparks auditioned for American Idol twice, once in Los Angeles, but didn't make it through, then again in Seattle. She went on to win the sixth season, and to this day is still the youngest to win American Idol. She went on to release two studio albums, and appear in films such as Sparkle and The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete.

Sparks, partnered with Glade, recently released a Christmas holiday anthem entitled "This Is My Wish" on Dec. 9, which is available for free download through Glade's official website until Dec. 31.

Ralph Fiennes, 51

Actor Ralph Fiennes turns 51 today. He first achieved success onstage in the Royal National Theatre, and is a noted Shakespeare interpreter. Fiennes appeared in films such as Schindler's List, The English Patient, and Skyfall. Growing up, Fiennes briefly pursued painting at Chelsea College of Art before realizing that acting was his true passion.

Fiennes played Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005. He reprised the role for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2.

Fiennes will appear in 2014's The Grand Budapest Hotel, a comedy in which Fiennes plays a concierge named M. Gustave H, who gets tied up in a murder.


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