06:44 AM EDT 03/19/2015



Whitney Houston's Final Recording Unveiled

Originally posted 05/22/2012 06:20AM

Her movie Sparkle does not open until Aug. 17, but this week brought the debut of Whitney Houston's final song, "Celebrate," a duet from the movie with her costar, Jordin Sparks.

Ryan Seacrest unveiled the pulsating number on his radio show Monday. "Celebrate," which was produced by R. Kelly, will be available on iTunes June 5.

A remake of a 1976 movie that originally starred Lonette McKee and Irene Cara, this new Sparkle, which finished filming last Thanksgiving, also stars Derek Luke, Mike Epps and Cee Lo Green, and chronicles the challenges faced by a group of singing sisters once they hit it big. Houston plays Sparks's mother.

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Whitney Houston's Final Movie Trailer, For Sparkle, Revealed

Originally posted 04/02/2012 02:15PM

The movie musical Sparkle, which stars Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston, tells the story of the rise of a Supremes-like group in the '60s. And though it's not due out in theaters until this summer, its trailer was released Monday. (Watch above.)

"Was my life not a cautionary tale for you?" Houston, as the mother of Sparks's character, tells her aspiring singer daughter. The brief film clip reveals that Houston's character had been a vocalist in her day, though she never reached the heights that daughter Sparkle want to achieve.

Houston appears in the trailer both elegantly coiffed and tailored as well as in a bathrobe and curlers – looking focused and together in the former, and hazy and out of it in the latter.

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Credit: Sony Pictures
Jordin Sparks Pays Tribute to Her Idol Whitney Houston | Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston

Jordin Sparks Pays Tribute to Her Idol Whitney Houston

Originally posted 02/24/2012 08:45AM

The moment she was told her idol Whitney Houston had died, Jordin Sparks broke down, locked herself in her hotel room and "cried non-stop," a source tells PEOPLE.

But the American Idol winner, 22, kept her tears to a minimum on Thursday afternoon while paying tribute to the late singer at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Speaking briefly about shooting the upcoming film Sparkle with Houston, Sparks grinned and told the room, which was packed with Oscar contenders and others who included Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Paula Patton, Pam Grier and Kerry Washington: "The first day she got [to the set] she's scolding me, and I'm thinking this is the best day ever. She went from being this unreachable supernova pop star to my costar, friend and someone who was like a mentor to me. It was a gift and an honor to play opposite Whitney Houston in the film."

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Credit: Courtesy Harvey Mason Jr.
Inside Whitney Houston's Last Recording Session | Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston's Last Recording Session

Originally posted 02/15/2012 05:15PM

Arriving at Mason Sound recording studio in North Hollywood on the evening of Feb. 7, Whitney Houston was all smiles and feeling "really positive," producer Harvey Mason Jr. tells PEOPLE.

"We stood around and joked, listened to music, and we got her this throat coat tea she likes," says Mason, who worked with the singer on her last recording of the up-tempo record "Celebrate," a duet with Jordin Sparks for the soundtrack of the upcoming film Sparkle.

"Then she got in the booth, started her vocal session with a prayer as she always did, and worked for about three to four hours. We ended the session dancing around the control room while she said 'Turn it up! Turn it up!' She was so fun-loving."

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Credit: Sony Pictures
Whitney Houston Delivered in Final Movie Role: Producer | Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston Delivered in Final Movie Role: Producer

Originally posted 02/13/2012 12:20PM

Last fall during production, Whitney Houston embodied the title of her final movie, Sparkle, the producer of the new movie tells PEOPLE.

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Credit: Sony Pictures
FIRST LOOK: Whitney Houston Back on Screen, in Sparkle | Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston

FIRST LOOK: Whitney Houston Back on Screen, in Sparkle

Originally posted 01/21/2012 11:00AM

It's been more than 15 years since Whitney Houston starred in a big Hollywood movie – 1996's The Preacher's Wife – and while fans may be rejoicing about her return to the screen in the upcoming Sparkle, the happiest person of all seems to be the pop diva's costar, Jordin Sparks.

"She was so cool and very motherly toward me," says the former American Idol winner, 22, who marks her film debut in the remake of a 1976 movie that originally starred Lonette McKee and Irene Cara. "If I ever looked like I needed something, here she came saying 'Are you okay?' "

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