Jordin Sparks fought back tears when paying tribute to Whitney Houston, at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood at the Beverly Hills Hotel. At the Thursday, February 23 event, the "American Idol" winner told the audience how Houston inspired her tremendously during the time they filmed "Sparkle" together.
"The first day she got [to the set] she's scolding me, and I'm thinking this is the best day ever," Sparks said with a grin. "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."
When finding out that her idol died tragically on February 11, Sparks locked the door in her hotel room and reportedly "cried non-stop". But Sparks gathered herself together at the luncheon, telling the audience, "When you see 'Sparkle', you will be so happy to see the joy that is on her face. Everyday started with Whitney saying, 'How are my babies doing? Are you guys good? God is good.' It translates on the screen."
The audience seats were packed with Oscar contenders such as Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis. Sparks performed "Look Into Your Heart", a soundtrack for the movie which she picked out of recent circumstance. "I was already going to sing a song from the movie and everything like that, and then all recent events happened. Now I'm going to be singing a song that she actually sang, but is also in the movie, from the original, it's called 'Look Into Your Heart'," she told Access Hollywood.
TriStar Pictures has scheduled for "Sparkle" to be released in the U.S. theaters on August 10. Houston plays a "not-so encouraging mother" of the titular character, who is portrayed by Sparks.