August 6th, 2012
04:18 PM ET

The 'Sparkle' in Whitney Houston's legacy

Whitney Houston's turn as the mother of three sisters who encounter the downsides of fame in this month's "Sparkle" has been viewed as a performance that could have relaunched her career.

But in light of Houston's February death, it will be seen as the performance that "adds another diamond to her legacy," says Houston's co-star, Tika Sumpter ("Gossip Girl"; "Think Like A Man"), who portrays one of the late legend's on-screen daughters.

Sumpter praised Houston's performance, as has the film's producer, T.D. Jakes, who said they all felt a certain responsibility upon the realization that "Sparkle" would be Houston's final bow.

The film is a remake of the 1976 production of the same name, which is said to be loosely based on the Supremes, as it follows the fame that comes to the titular Sparkle and her sisters after they launch a singing career.

"American Idol" star Jordin Sparks portrays the title crooner, and she told CNN in an interview that she, along with the rest of the cast, cherish the fact that they got to work with Houston before she passed.

"We got to experience the beauty and the essence and the humility that was Whitney," Sparks, who portrays the titular Sparkle, told CNN in an interview. "We have those last moments with her, so we get to speak about that - we get to tell people about her and who she was and what we experienced. And I think that's important, too, to add to her legacy."

"Sparkle," Sparks continued, will be the "last thing people are going to see, the last thing she did and she looks beautiful. She lights up the screen, and you can just tell she's so full of joy to be doing this. I saw it for the third time the other day and I just still was so taken aback by the fact that it's all happening and we were all a part of it, and there she was. She was just incredible."

Even having watched the film repeatedly, Sparks still becomes emotional each time.

"The tears, I can't stop them," the singer-and-now-actress said. "I thought after a few times I'd be okay, but just watching her I have this sense of, just, I'm so proud to be a part of it ... Having idolized her, it's like, 'look at her go.'"

And, of course, watching Houston's final performance is "also really, really sad because she's not here physically to see it. But she is all over this. Her hand is in everything," Sparks said. "[W]hen we walk [the red carpet] for the premiere, I know she's going to be there with her angel wings and she'll be strutting that red carpet!"

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. nelson

    we must admit it .. she really makes history in the world of music
    Find out more about her life in

    August 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. shiney

    I suppose it could have restarted her career, if it wasn't for the fact that she was a crack (w)hore and completely self destructive.

    August 23, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
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    August 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
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    August 18, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Stop it already

    in meetings, stop trolling a non troller-horrible horrible comments.

    August 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. keep quiet already

    nobody cares.

    August 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Motivator

    For those who made harsh comments about Whitney Houston...just know you were reported! Thank You. Management

    August 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Geo

    WHO CARES............................

    August 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rochelle Jackson

    So many nasty people in this world,I was raised if you have nothing nice to say,about someone. Say nothing!!!She may have had a problem~but we all have problems..God can only judge her!!I like so many will go to see the movie~She was a great artist,beautiful women,loved her daughter when she at times did not love herself..The Lord knows our lives before we a born, I truly believe that..People love to hate on the next person,all the time.. We love you Whitney~Your voice was like no other~Your music will live for ever!!! May you rest in Pardise forever!!!

    August 10, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
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    August 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. B


    August 8, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Kelli Phelps

    Rip Whitney, I find so much hypocrisy in america. first of all the people makin the derogatory comments in regards to Whitney's struggles with substance abuse probably are Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, maybe Billie Holiday, fans, and there are so many entertainers who have struggled and have died due to abusing substances. so why is Whitney's struggle any different? why doesn't she deserve the same respect that Janis or Jimi still recieve? She gave so much during her life, shared her gifts and talents, and love, we all struggle with some type of outside influence on our lives, food, shopping, drugs, alcohol etc....we are americans, overcoming excess is part of the american the hypocrisy, why such hypocrisy? RIP WHITNEY I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU FOR THE GIFTS YOU LEFT US...GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL

    August 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DEA

    We know about Whitney's "sparkle". It was Pure Peruvian Flake, with a side of kind bud.

    August 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • leo2leo

      Do you think you are clever? What do you gain from being so insensitive to the destruction of drugs.
      Drug abuse and addiction is a horrendous problem and day to day struggle. It's not cute, cool, or funny.
      Whitney knew the fight. Leave her in peace.

      August 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Melvin

    Firstly, Whitney was human, talented, loved many and loved by many. She had her challenges in life, but who doesn’t? Cast no stones unless you’re ready to handle the stone that gossip will throw your way. Let Whitney RIP, ………and enjoy the “light” she shared on our world through the gifts that God gave her.

    August 7, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. Michael Peter Caliazzo

    We need to help B-Ran to seek mental aid and care.

    August 7, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  16. leo2leo

    Cheap shots are just that, cheap. Let us learn from the negative and remember the positive.
    The re-make of Sparkle was Whitney's life long, professional dream. How beautiful!
    When clear of substance, Whitney was the most warm, loving, generous, good humored, and
    faith based person on the planet. Her voice in its prime transcended above all others. All of these
    attributes are revealed in Whitney's final performance in Sparkle and this is how she will be remembered.

    August 7, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  17. I will..

    be there to see Whitney!

    August 7, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  18. Joe

    Wasn't it the 'sparkle' that she kept snorting up her nose?

    August 7, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  19. lol

    Can't wait to see the movie! Will always love Whitney's music which will last for years and years! Still so hard to believe she is gone. RIP Ms. Whitney!

    August 7, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  20. Bucktooth

    classsy performer! I'm sure Whitney would be just doesn't eem like she's gone!

    August 7, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  21. Belinda

    I like this story.

    August 7, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  22. Belinda

    This is too nice.

    August 7, 2012 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  23. sandy ervin

    Whitney was the best. I remember when she had her first hit. No one can come close to her beauty and talent. Just wish she would have stayed away from drugs.

    August 7, 2012 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  24. rrr

    Crack us wack

    August 7, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  25. rr

    Crack is wack

    August 7, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  26. LILY

    jwhy do u say stupid things?

    August 7, 2012 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  27. P Boy

    I think I'll go take a pooh now...

    August 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  28. P Boy

    Did she die?

    August 6, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  29. same ole

    Whitney will be there for the premier, hovering over the red carpet with her angel wings, and her angel crack pipe...

    August 6, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  30. delene

    Hope you know how much you are missed Whitney...i skipped work to see The Bodyguard and will skip work on August 17th. FLY HIGH and sing with God's angels!

    August 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Teresa

    Look forward too seeing it. Rip whitney. Love you whitney.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  32. B-Ran

    I bet it makes you pretty mad, that even though she was colored AND a druggie. She still had more talent and success in her pinky toe than you will have in your whole life. Right? And I'm sure if you could afford drugs, you would have od'd on them long ago. Do us a favor and just od on some house hold products!

    August 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • jaceyk

      B- Ran, it is best to be assumed a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. That had to be the most ridiculously out of place comment I've ever read. Ignorance personified.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  33. BrickHouse

    terribly missed.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Marc

    This one should definitely be worth seeing. It's a good sign that the women speak so highly of Whitney's performance, and the star herself. Plus, the casting works namewise (Sparks as Sparkle).

    August 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  35. JC

    I miss you too, RIP

    August 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Cmb0368

    Miss you Whitney!

    August 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  37. warren

    Celebrating the life of a musical legend.

    August 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Twna B.

    love Whitney

    August 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Rita

    Um, "Dream Girls" was loosely based on "The Supremes", not "Sparkle". Anyway, I can't wait to see this. It will be bittersweet.

    August 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • carrie

      How do you know Sparkle isn't?? It's called Wikipedia... you should try it.

      August 7, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Grandpa Simpson

      Yes, try Wikipedia. The online encyclopedia that almost anyone can edit, reliable information. Cheezus H Rice, does anyone read books that aren't of the pop-up variety??

      August 7, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  40. lola

    Miss you girl

    August 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |

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