NEW YORK – Given the multiplatinum, Grammy-winning successes of fellow "American Idol" winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks is feeling pressure to make her own mark on the music world.
It's a lot to live up to.
"They've risen the bar so high and I'm like, `I hope I can reach it,"' the bubbly 17-year-old told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I'm trying to reach it! I just really hope that when (my CD) comes out it'll be great and maybe as good as theirs. And hopefully it'll sell well and people will like it."
She offers a taste of the disc with her new single, "Tattoo," to be released on AOL's PopEater music blog Friday and to radio stations Monday. The poppy tune about ending a romance had the Sparks seal of approval from the beginning. It was love at first listen.
"Right after I heard the first chorus, I was like, `I wanna sing that song. I have to have it. I wanna sing it,"' she said.
Sparks, the youngest winner in the Fox show's six seasons, said her debut album, set for Nov. 20, will be a musical mixture of styles including pop-rock -- in the edgy key of Clarkson, one of her role models -- and the dramatic ballads that made her stand out on the "Idol" stage. She hopes to add some country, too.
This girl's got goals -- among them, to "maybe win a couple Grammys ... Maybe be happy with somebody. Maybe act in a movie. Maybe do Broadway."
Sparks is still coming to terms with celebrity. Seeing her picture in glossy magazines is surreal. But she'd rather be in the spotlight than out of it.
"I wouldn't trade this experience for anything," she said. "It's just been so amazing. You know, it's hard because I go outside and I'm instantly recognized and I'm like, oh my gosh, because it happened overnight, literally."
Sparks, who is out on the "American Idol" tour, remains tight with her fellow finalists. That includes Sanjaya.
"It's abnormally weird how well we still get along," she said. "We're still like any dysfunctional family where we get on each other's nerves, but, at the end of the day, we're still just like, 'Hey, you wanna hang out?"'
The gang recently saw the hit comedy, "Superbad," which has no shortage of R-rated raunch.
"It was so funny and I feel bad because I didn't expect it to be as vulgar as it was," Sparks said. "But I laughed anyway!"