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Jesse McCartney<BR>

Jesse McCartney and Jordin Sparks are making sweet music together.

That's right. McCartney, the young soap-opera actor who has made his mark in the pop-music world, and "American Idol" winner Sparks are on tour together. And the tour will stop at Abravanel Hall Monday.

The Deseret News caught up with McCartney to talk about the show and his career.

"We didn't think the tour would get off the ground," McCartney said in a phone call from Los Angeles, Calif., before the tour. "It was thrown together at the last minute, but it seems to be working out well. I met with Jordin a few days prior and we're excited to be doing this together.

"She's a great person and a wonderful singer. And when we looked at our schedules, we found that we had August open," McCartney said. "So we thought it would be a great idea."

In the beginning, McCartney used his own money to start his music career.

"I always saw myself as an actor," he said. "But music has always been a passion of mine. It was on the back burner. And I was doing the soap opera ("All My Children"). And when I had a little time off, I took some money and started working on a CD."

At that same time, McCartney was part of the boy band Dream Street. The band broke up and McCartney focused on his CD.

In 2003, he released a three-song extended play that featured the song "Beautiful Soul."

"I got a call from Hollywood Records and they offered me a recording contract," said McCartney.

A year later, McCartney released the full-length album "Beautiful Soul" and followed it up with 2006's "Right Where You Want Me."

The albums went platinum and gold, respectively.

In March, he released his new album, "Departure." The singer said the CD's title is a summary of what he was trying to accomplish.

"The previous two albums were electric-based," he said. "The songs were composed with the guitar. The new album was composed on the piano. So, the approach was different. And that's why we called it 'Departure."'

McCartney said the songs were written in the past two years and he has felt he has come into his own when it comes to songwriting.

Indeed, he co-wrote Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," which she recorded and took to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. While McCartney did his own version and released it on the Asian release of "Departure," he said there is no plans to release the song in the states.

"I'm leaving that up to Leona," he said.

If you go ...

What: Jesse McCartney, Jordin Sparks

Where: Abravanel Hall, 123 S. West Temple

When: Monday, 7:30 p.m.

How much: $39.50-$49.50

Phone: 355-2787, 888-451-2787

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E-mail: [email protected]