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Saturday 25 January 2020

Whitney Houston to appear posthumously in film remake that was to mark her comeback

Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in the remake of 1976 film Sparkle
Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in the remake of 1976 film Sparkle
Whitney Houston performs on stage at the 2004 World Music Awards. Photo: AP
Jordin Sparks
Cee Lo Green

WHITNEY Houston is to return posthumously to the big screen in a remake of the 1976 film "Sparkle."

Houston served as executive producer of the film, which had already finished filming in Detroit when she died in Beverly Hills on Feb 11 at age 48.

A brief preview shared with theatre owners on Wednesday night at the CinemaCon conference in Las Vegas featured Houston's trademark dazzling smile as she danced in a living room in celebration.

The remake of the 1976 film stars Houston as the mother of three girls who form a singing group and struggle with fame and drug addiction. The film, scheduled for release in August, was seen as a comeback vehicle for the superstar, whose career suffered in recent years as she battled with drug and alcohol abuse.

The preview footage largely focused on Jordin Sparks, who was seen playing a piano in a modest home, glasses dangling from her nose. In later scenes, she appeared glammed up in sparkling, curve-hugging gowns. It's the American Idol winner's first notable Hollywood role.

Cee Lo Green also sings in the movie.

Houston laboured for 12 years to get "Sparkle" on the big screen. The film marked her first return to cinema since 1996's "The Preacher's Wife." Her Hollywood debut came 20 years ago in the blockbuster movie "The Bodyguard."

Houston, a multi-platinum singer, earned her first No 1 hit by age 22.

An autopsy showed she accidentally drowned in a hotel room bathtub on the eve of the Grammy Awards. Heart disease and cocaine use were contributing factors.

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