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Entertainment Entertainment Music

Interview: Jordin Sparks says 'Cheese' with ease

While some celebrity couples remain tight-lipped about their relationships and go out of their way to not get photographed together, former "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks has been more than willing to discuss her relationship with "Whatcha Say" singer Jason Derulo from the beginning and appear with him on the red carpet and at award shows.

Why?

"Why not?" said Sparks while promoting her new fragrance, Ambition, on Saturday at Carson Pirie Scott in North Riverside Park Mall in North Riverside. "I want to gush about him. I would shout it from the rooftops. He is incredible. I don't mind talking about it. Being on 'Idol,' you have no choice but to be an open book. ('Idol') wants to know everything about you. So I've always been open.

"At the same time, there are moments I like to keep to myself. I've got to learn how to compartmentalize things. I think I'm doing a good job of that."

Sparks and Derulo — who have been dating for about a year and recently appeared together on "The Wendy Williams Show" to discuss their relationship — recorded a duet together that may appear on her upcoming album. The up-tempo song is called "Flirt" and has a tongue-in-cheek feel, according to Sparks.

The 22-year-old Sparks also hopes the album includes cameos by Big Sean and T.I., but she has yet to officially reach out to the two rappers. In addition to the album, which she expects to be released early next year, Sparks will appear in the independent drama "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" co-starring Jennifer Hudson. Sparks recently starred in the "Sparkle" remake with Whitney Houston.

It's because of these various ventures that Sparks decided to call her perfume Ambitious.

"You want to encompass what the whole thing is about in one word or phrase," Sparks said. "I was like 'What's going on in my life right now? Ambitious. That's what I am right now. That makes sense."

The perfume is Sparks' third and joins a crowded landscape that includes fragrances by fellow pop stars Shakira, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Britney Spears. Asked how one fragrance is supposed to stand out from the rest, Sparks said it has to do, in large part, with the celeb's popularity and fan support.

And yes, Sparks has also bought a product simply because of the celebrity endorsing it.

"'Lizzie McGuire' was my big thing when I was younger," Sparks said. "I did buy some pencils and back-to-school stuff of her's because she was on it. I loved her."

Celebrity dish: First Kerry Wood gets a sandwich named after him at Chicago Bagel Authority in September. Now the retired Cub has his own drink at Harry Caray's restaurants. Woody's Winter Whiskey — which includes Jameson Black Barrel whiskey, Goose Island ginger beer and lime juice — is available through Jan. 18. Proceeds from the $11 drink benefit the Wood Family Foundation.

Help wanted: CBS is developing a baking competition series and is looking for amateur bakers from all walks of life. You can apply by bringing a baked good and a photo of yourself to Saturday's casting call at Kendall College or by posting a video of yourself and your baked item at cbsbakingshow.com.

About this week: Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson will perform Tuesday at Michigan Avenue magazine's party at the House of Blues. ... Men's Journal will honor its 2012 Chicago Men of the Year — including Wood, the Bears' Brandon Marshall, the White Sox's Gordon Beckham and actor Jeff Garlin — Thursday during a private party at the Men's Journal Gear Lab Collection Pop-Up Store in the Shops at North Bridge.

Sightings: Actors Jim Belushi and Jenny McCarthy, the Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp and poker player Phil Ivey attended the Bulls-Milwaukee Bucks game Nov. 26 at the United Center. Following the game, the Bucks' Drew Gooden and Luc Mbah a Moute had dinner at Japonais. ... The Bears' Jay Cutler and fiancee Kristin Cavallari dined Nov. 25 at Prasino in Wicker Park and Tuesday at In The Raw in Highland Park. Teammate Brian Urlacher and the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson dined, separately, Nov. 24 at Joe's Stone Crab. Urlacher was spotted Saturday's at Mastro's Steakhouse. Fellow Bear Robbie Gould dined at Chuck's Manufacturing in the Hard Rock Hotel following the Bears-Vikings game Nov. 25. ... Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban partied Tuesday at Public House and Board Room. ... The Bulls' Joakim Noah hosted a charity event for his Noah's Arc Foundation on Thursday at Joe's Stone Crab. ... "The League" actress Nadine Velazquez dined Nov. 24 at Sunda. ... Former football and baseball star Bo Jackson celebrated his 50th birthday Friday at Mastro's Steakhouse. ... "The Mob Doctor" actress Jordana Spiro had drinks Saturday at RM Champagne Salon. ... The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews dined Tuesday at Roka Akor.

For more celebrity news and sightings in Chicago, go to chicagotribune.com/luis

lgomez@tribune.com
Twitter @aboutluisgomez

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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