Words are, Deborah Cox will sing the late diva's songs in the TV movie as 'music rights and clearances are still being worked out.'
Lifetime's Whitney Houston biopic will feature some music from her catalog, but there's a twist. Her voice will not be heard in the TV movie as her songs will be sung by someone else. E! News reports that R&B singer Deborah Cox will perform the late diva's hits in the biopic.
A representative for the network says that "music rights and clearances are still being worked out," but Cox will be providing the "vocal tracks." Meanwhile, former "America's Next Top Model" contestant Yaya DaCosta has been cast in the lead role.
The project, under the tentative title "I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story", is directed by Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett, with a script written by Shem Bitterman. Larry Sanitsky serves as executive producer. Arlen Escarpeta will play Houston's ex-husband Bobby Brown and Yolonda Ross stars as Robyn, Houston's lifelong friend and confidant.
The telepic "chronicles the headline-making relationship between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model, and singer, songwriter Bobby Brown - from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage. Throughout it all, difficulties followed the superstar couple while they dealt with the overwhelming rewards and consequences of the fame and fortune created by Whitney's meteoric rise that would soon overshadow them both."
Filming is currently underway in Los Angeles for a 2015 premiere. An official first look at DaCosta and Escarpeta as the celebrity couple was recently released online.