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He's worked with Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Rihanna (and the list goes way on...) but Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins says, without hesitation, that his 6-year-old daughter is the "No. 1" diva he's ever worked with.
"She literally wakes up in the morning and has her outfits picked out, already on," the four-time GRAMMY winner tells ET with a laugh. "I'm talking about 8 o'clock in the morning. She'll walk into the bedroom, everyone has pajamas on and she's fully ready to go."
Heavenly Joy Jerkins -- one of Rodney's four children with wife Joy Enriquez, a gospel singer -- first showed off her powerhouse pipes last year on America's Got Talent, and will return to the small screen on NBC's Little Big Shots, hosted by Steve Harvey, this Sunday. The pint-sized superstar-in-the-making has a personality as big as her voice, and she's not afraid to say what she thinks.
"There's been times where I'm creating in the studio and I'm working on an idea for her, and she'll go, 'I don't like that one,'" Rodney admits. "I'm like, 'Oh, OK. I got my 6-year-old telling me she doesn't like that one. I'm not used to this!' But it's part of her artistry."
Heavenly Joy adorably reveals that of her dad's A-list collaborators, her "favorite, favorite, favorite" is Justin Bieber -- and, "of course," her mommy. "She is also famous," the tyke gushed of her mom.
"My wife sang the whole time she was pregnant with Heavenly," Rodney says. "I think when Heavenly was really able to speak her first words, her first words were songs. She was singing! She would sing melodies and we kinda knew there's something there."
Even in utero, Heavenly was already rubbing elbows with the music industry elite.
"I met Michael Jackson, but I was still in my mom's stomach," she reveals.
"I think she's the new Michael Jackson," Rodney says. "I think she's the female version of what Michael Jackson was. People will sometimes compare her to say, 'Oh, this is like Shirley Temple all over again.' I think it is a little bit of that, but I think it's more of Michael. Not just because I worked with Michael, but just even studying how he began so young and how he was able to evolve into the superstar he became -- it's a lot of little things that she does that she doesn't even know she does that I'm able to see, and it's Michael-ish. It's interesting."
Heavenly is being home-schooled as she continues developing her musical talents, but her parents aren't worried about the pitfalls that so often plague child stars in Hollywood.
"Our job as parents is to nurture our children and look at their gifts and help bring out their gifts," Rodney says. "Heavenly is really clear on who she sings for and what the purpose of her singing is, so it's not even a Hollywood thing to us. It's a world thing. When she was a little girl, she said, 'I want to sing all over the world.' She said, 'I want to go sing and pray for people in China and all these different places,' and that's her heart. Our job is to help her achieve her goals."