Jordin Sparks Pays Tribute To Whitney Houston With First Big Acting Role In ‘Sparkle’

Jordin Sparks makes her big-screen acting debut in “Sparkle,” the remake of a cult classic from the 1970s that featured music from Aretha Franklin, and got to do so alongside one of her childhood idols, Whitney Houston.

Sparks plays the title character in the drama set in 1960s Detroit, a talented singer and songwriter who struggles to pave her own artistic path as she performs in a group with her two sisters. Houston plays the Bible-thumping mother who exerts her influence on the group as she tries to shield them from the evils of the recording industry, ABC News notes.

Jordin Sparks said she was so nervous for her first big acting role that she couldn’t help but memorizing the script — all of it.

“I knew my lines. I knew everybody else’s lines,” Sparks told ABC News Radio. “I knew their exits and entrances and that’s really what helped me as soon as I got there and then I just learned from everybody else.”

Jordin Sparks said she learned from Houston while working on the project, who made it a personal project to bring “Sparkle” back to the big screen.
“It was her baby,” Sparks said. “She worked very, very hard on this project for over 10 years. So, to see it all come to life, I just can’t wait.”

Even though Whitney Houston had bona fide superstar status, she still made sure all of the film’s co-stars felt supported and appreciated in their own right, Jordin Sparks told Access Hollywood.

“The amazing thing about [Whitney] is she wanted to see all of us shine – she wanted to see all of us have moments as well,” Sparks said. “It was just amazing to get that kind of example from somebody I looked up to.”

Getting Houston’s seal of approval for her performance on the film was the biggest accomplishment for Jordin Sparks. The former “American Idol” contestant recalled that after shooting the film’s last scene, Houston “walked up on the stage and she put my head in her hands…and said, ‘You are everything that we wanted,’ and I just remember losing it there. ‘Cause to have your idol just tell you that, I just lost it.”