'American Idol' winner Jordin Sparks' stepfather died on May 7 after suffering a stroke. James Jackson, Sparks' stepdad who was a firefighter and Army veteran was 50 years old. Jackson is survived by his son Zachary (and his wife Dawajeane), wife Jodi, stepdaughter Jordin (and her husband Dana Isaiah), and stepson PJ Sparks (and his wife Jessica).
In an emotional social media post last Thursday, Sparks' mom Jodi shared: "James and I had a big beautiful love. We loved out loud. He took nothing for granted and gave of himself every day to everyone. We adored each other and every minute he wasn’t working we were together loving our crazy, blessed life." She added that he spent his saving lives and will save many more through this tragedy. "That was just who he was."
Sparks was the maid of honor at Jodi's wedding to Jackson in March 2014. On Thursday, the 29-year-old expressed her grief in an Instagram story with a repost of the quote "The more my heart expands, the less offended I feel by other people working out their particular stage of being a human." To this, Sparks added: "We’re all just trying to make it."
The singer-songwriter and actress rose to fame in 2007 after winning the sixth season of American Idol at the age of 16, becoming the youngest winner in the series' history. In 2015, Sparks had wished the couple a happy first anniversary through an Instagram post. Captioning the post which had selfies of Sparks with her mother and step-dad, she wrote: "Happy 1 Year Anniversary to my Mommy, @jodijax & Step Dad James! Your love is so incredibly inspiring. I love you both so much! Here’s to many more!"
The death comes just 15 months after the family faced Jackson’s 16-year-old daughter, Bryanna Jackson-Frias' death in January 2018. She died from complications from her lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia.
Jackson's funeral is planned for Tuesday, May 14 at 10:30 a.m. at the Second Baptist Church in Kingwood, Texas.
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