Fans of the late great Whitney Houston only have to wait another few weeks to see her perform again. She’ll light up the big screen in August in Sparkle. Whitney had taken a long hiatus from acting since the nineties, choosing instead to focus on music and her family. Her last roles in The Preacher’s Wife, Waiting to Exhale, and The Bodyguard, met critical acclaim, so we can expect great things from Sparkle as she only improved with age. In different circumstances, this could have been the beginning of a comeback for the legend. The film’s message, of a talented singer overcoming a drug issue, is particularly poignant, but ultimately uplifting.
Sparkle lives up to its name with a star-studded cast, including young talent Jordin Sparks. The twenty-two year old singer lost fifty pounds recently, and flaunts her new body both in the film and in a bikini on a recent cover of Shape. Rumor is that this total makeover (fueled by Zumba and hiking) may have led to the American Idol sweetheart being offered the title role in the musical. She’s taken on much of the publicity work in the wake of Whitney’s death, and referred to the movie as Houston’s “baby.” Ironically, the original pick for the role was Aaliyah, another singer who (like Whitney) was lost before her time.
Cee Lo Green also joins the cast as Black, a character that wasn’t in the 1976 original. The lovable singer, of “Forget You” fame, has been incredibly busy lately as a judge on The Voice. He had to cancel a show in (and move to) Las Vegas recently, leaving his fans without the promised “sexified showgirls” and “mindtwisting magic.” Mike Epps from The Hangover also stars. Look for the movie on August 17.