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Tragic diva Whitney 'sparkles' in her final film role

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Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in a scene from the film 'Sparkle'.

Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in a scene from the film 'Sparkle'.

Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in a scene from the film 'Sparkle'.

VIEWERS got a poignant first glimpse of Whitney Houston's final film yesterday when American daytime-television show 'Today' premiered a trailer for the much-awaited release.

A remake of the 1976 original, 'Sparkle' stars the tragic singer as the mother of three girls who form a singing group and struggle with fame and drug addiction.

The singing legend, who died in February after her own battle with drug abuse, was poised for a movie comeback in 'Sparkle' 20 years after her defining film performance in 'The Bodyguard'. She also served as an executive producer of 'Sparkle'.

The brief trailer displayed the daughters in performance and Houston telling them, "I always knew you had the gift". No drug references were evident, nor was Ms Houston seen singing.

'Sparkle' is scheduled for release this summer.

Separately yesterday, Rihanna revealed that she would "love" to portray Ms Houston on the big screen.

The 'Talk That Talk' singer, who makes her acting debut in Peter Berg's sci-fi action adventure 'Battleship', shrugged off rumours that she is in the running to play the late diva in a forthcoming biopic, but admitted she would be honoured to take the role.

"I didn't get that call yet," said the 24-year-old, adding: "That would be something that I would have to give my entire life to do because I would want to really pull it off. That's a huge, huge role and whoever does it has to do a good job."

Rihanna -- whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty -- considers Houston a musical inspiration.

"I met her at a Clive Davis party. I love her. She's one of my big music icons and I have always looked up to her," she continued.

"My first song that I remember falling in love with was a Whitney Houston song -- 'I Will Always Love You'. Her music was always played in my house, along with Mariah Carey and Celine Dion.

"It was really inspiring and it made me develop a passion for music, so really she's partly responsible for me being here," she added.

Irish Independent