'American Idol' Jordin Sparks wants a judge gig: 'I've been in their shoes'

NEW YORK ― Jordin Sparks is ready to sit in a judge's chair.

The "American Idol" Season 6 winner, 34, performed a medley of tunes at the Apollo Theater's 90th anniversary Tuesday, where she discussed the importance of fostering the next generation of talent as Usher and Babyface were honored for their musical contributions.

"There's room for all of us. We have to encourage (prospective artists) and speak life into the youth. 'Gatekeeping' … that word should be thrown out the window," the singer told USA TODAY, adding that she would "love" to be considered as a judge in a singing competition to help the next generation.

Nearly two decades after she became the youngest ever "Idol" winner at 17 in 2007, "I've been doing this for a while; I've learned a lot," she said.

Jordin Sparks teased the possibility of being a singing competition judge.
Jordin Sparks teased the possibility of being a singing competition judge.

"I'm able to just be like, 'OK, well this is what happened' and be honest. I think that's a really big key," she said of her interest in being a singing competition judge. "Also, I've been there. I've been in their shoes. I know the insanity that comes when the show you're on gets really popular, and all of a sudden you go from being a 'normal' person to being so recognizable.

"It would be fun to be able to sit in a space to be like, 'I know exactly what you're feeling right now,' and I can help guide you through that," the "No Air" singer adds. "One day, who knows. We'll see."

Sparks, who is gearing up to release a new album centered on her "joy" and "power," didn't specify her dream judging assignment, but "Idol," now on ABC, is hiring.

Usher, Babyface showcase icon and legend status at Apollo 90th anniversary

'American Idol' looking to replace Katy Perry, 'The Voice' brings back alum coach

The Season 22 finale of “ Idol” last month marked the end of Katy Perry’s six-year run on the show. Perry announced in February that she was leaving her position as a judge on the iconic singing competition to "go and see the world and maybe bring new music."

Perry’s co-judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan have thrown out names of Perry's possible replacements throughout the season, including Meghan Trainor and Jelly Roll but the truth is — as far as the fans are concerned — no one has been chosen for the job yet.

"The qualities I hope for are someone that is honest," Perry said on the live finale. "Someone that is constructive with their words. Someone that is leading with their heart – heart-centered and less ego – and isn't afraid to speak their mind and isn't afraid if sometimes that's polarizing, isn't afraid of negative comments, isn't afraid of getting booed just as long as they are speaking their mind and true to themselves."

Kelly Clarkson confirms she won't be joining 'American Idol' after Katy Perry exit: 'I can't'

"The Voice" also has plenty of rotating chairs to choose from. On June 5, the NBC show announced Adam Levine will return as a coach for Season 27 after a five-year break.

He'll be joined by Kelsea BalleriniMichael Bublé and John Legend. Levine served as coach on "The Voice" for 16 consecutive seasons beginning with the show's inception in 2011 before departing in 2019 and being replaced by Gwen Stefani.

Bublé, Snoop DoggReba McEntire and Stefani were recently confirmed as coaches for the 26th season of "The Voice," which airs in the fall.

Contributing: Brendan Morrow, Patrick Ryan and KiMi Robinson, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Idol' alum Jordin Sparks wants to be a singing competition judge