Like previous "American Idol" winners, Jordin Sparks is laying claim to the title of Hardest Working Person in Show Business. The 17-year-old Season 6 champ is in the midst of rehearsals for this year

Like previous "American Idol" winners, Jordin Sparks is laying claim to the title of Hardest Working Person in Show Business.

The 17-year-old Season 6 champ is in the midst of rehearsals for this year's American Idols Live! tour, which kicks off Friday (July 6) in Sunrise, Fla. She tells Billboard.com that she's also started working on her album, which she hopes to release before Thanksgiving.

"It's going well," Sparks says of the album, "We've had some meetings, and the other night I recorded a song. I can't tell you details or anything like that, but I am very excited about it."

Actually, Sparks reveals that she worked with the production team Stargate on the track, but she'll be spending a lot more time on the album throughout the summer and into the early fall. "I'll be flying in and out as much as I can from the tour to get it done," she says. "And I'm assuming that after the tour's over I'll hit the studio pretty hard to finish it."

Sparks says she wants a "radio friendly" album that mixes the pop/rock sound of inaugural "Idol" Kelly Clarkson with the R&B edge of Beyonce. "It's hard to get at what my sound is," Sparks notes, "but I think that's what I'm trying to get."

Her own songwriting also isn't a priority for the album. "I write a lot of poems," she says, "and maybe I could get something on this first album, but I'm not sure. Eventually I'd love to be able to write and have a song on an album, but we'll see."

Count on Sparks to performer her current single, "This Is My Now," on the "American Idols Live" tour, but that's about all she'll acknowledge for the upcoming road show.

"The show is gonna be different than any other show they have put on," Sparks says. "There's a bunch of group songs and duets. The solos are really cool. I'm singing some songs I haven't sung before. We're really excited about it."

Sparks says rumors that Clarkson may drop in on the tour now that her own is canceled have reached rehearsals. And while nothing definitive has been announced, the current "Idol" has no objections to that. "I love her," Sparks says. "I'd be like, 'Hey, let's do something together!' That would be really cool for me."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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