In an exclusive interview, Sparkle star and composer discuss their roles in the film and working with the late Whitney Houston

Sparkle, Hollywood’s latest musical drama, is scheduled to arrive in theaters on Aug. 17. Ahead of its release, previewed Sparkle with GRAMMY nominees Jordin Sparks, who stars in the film’s leading role, and Salaam Remi, who scored the film.

A remake of the 1976 film, Sparkle tells the story of Sparkle Anderson (Sparks) and her two sisters and their aspirations to form a Motown group. The cast includes Carmen Ejogo, Mike Epps, Cee Lo Green, and Derek Luke, among others. The late Whitney Houston plays the role of the mother Emma, who is reluctant to support her daughters’ dreams of a musical career. Sparks makes her feature film debut in Sparkle, which proved to be the last film project for Houston, who died Feb. 11.

“Working with Whitney was a dream come true for me and it’s also become a huge blessing,” says Sparks. “When we were filming [the movie,] we knew it was something really special. And for her to not be here, it’s made it very bittersweet. It was something that she worked on for so long and something that she loved so much.”

“For me it was [also] bittersweet because [composing] the score is one of the last things to do,” adds Remi. “Watching the film within weeks of her actually passing was really a lot to take on.”

In addition to Remi’s score, the film’s soundtrack includes songs performed by Green, Ejolo, Goapele, and Sparks. The soundtrack also contains the final recorded performances by Houston, including “Celebrate,” a duet with Sparks. Sparkle¬†marks Houston’s fifth and final feature film role. The film is dedicated to her memory.

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