Amidst all the racing run, we managed to spot American pop and R&B singer and actress Jordin Sparks, who was catching the horse racing action as a guest of the Emirates Airlines lounge at the Dubai World Cup.
And in the midst of ladies swathed in designer clothing with baubles dropping from their ears and the click click of their Manolo heels, Sparks stood out with her simplicity.
“I am wearing a Bebe dress that is over 15 years old,” she said, laughing. “I was going through my mum’s closet and saw this dress and fell in love with it. My shoes are Stuart Weitzman, bracelets are Louis Vuitton and the earrings are a gift from my boyfriend.”
That’s singer Jason Derulo she’s referring to, and yes, he’s still her boyfriend, despite rumours of an engagement.
Dubai had clearly impressed the 2007 American Idol winner, who said she wants to return to the Emirates before the end of the year to perform.
“Dubai is everything everyone said it would be. Emirates [Airline] invited me and it’s amazing to be here,” she gushed. “Everybody has been so friendly and nice. Hopefully the next time I come back I’ll be singing. It’s really fun you see so many different people from so many different countries. It’s been a really great experience.”
She was also in awe of the opening ceremony and the incredible fireworks at the Meydan Racecourse.
“It’s hard to say exactly what I thought of the whole show. There’s so much going on and it’s so massive and huge,” said the singer, a wide smile never leaving her face. “Usually you would just have some fireworks in the background but this was just incredible. It was very over the top with beautiful music, amazing performers. I was like there’s someone floating on the moon. It was amazing.”
Sparks confessed to not being a keen follower of horse racing. Her first foray into the sport was when she sang the Star Spangled Banner, the American national anthem, at the Kentucky Derby in 2011.
“I don’t keep up with horse racing obsessively so I had no idea just how big the Dubai World Cup was. It’s huge,” she said.
Speaking of her plans for 2013, she included Dubai.
“I hope to be back to Dubai this year to perform, fingers crossed,” said the Sparkle actress. “I am working on new music, on a new record. And I have a movie coming out as well -- I am not sure of the release date but it will be out soon. And I am just going to continue doing what I love.”
Being a celebrity can be tough, you live your private and professional lives in front of an audience at all times. Props to Sparks for being such a happy ball of sunshine when we encroached on her personal time for a little chat.
By Yusra Farzan