Jordin Sparks is convinced her Sparkle co-star Whitney Houston's spirit was with her onstage at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards when she performed the tragic diva's rendition of I Will Always Love You shortly after her death.
Sparks admits she was so nervous on the night, she blocked out everything and to this day has no memory of her stunning tribute performance, but looking back at video of the magical moment, she now feels sure her idol and friend was with her on the stage.
She explains, "It was kind of like an out-of-body experience and I knew that if one thing went wrong I wouldn't be able to finish. I remember walking out onstage and then being done; I do not remember what happened in between.
Continue reading: Jordin Sparks: 'Whitney Was With Me For Billboard Music Awards Tribute'
The singer gives Houston full credit for giving her the confidence she needed for her film debut, revealing she even showed up on set on her day off to give her co-star a boost.
In an interview with Queen Latifah on her U.S. daytime talk show, Sparks says, "It was my first role and it was a lot to take on - I was scared. I was like, 'Please God, please let me not suck'.
Continue reading: Jordin Sparks: 'Whitney Houston Was Amazing On Sparkle Set'
The One Moment in Time hitmaker, who was found dead in the bathroom of a Los Angeles hotel room in February (12), teamed up with Jordin Sparks for the film, and their rendition of Celebrate landed them the Best Gospel/Inspirational Performance at the annual prizegiving.
Taking to her Twitter.com page, Sparks told fans, "So happy that Celebrate won Best Gospel/Inspirational Performance at the BET Soul Train Awards!! First of many Mama Whitney!! Miss you."
Continue reading: Whitney Houston Honoured At Soul Train Awards
Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown put on a brave face to join the cast of Sparkle and celebrate the release of her late mother's final movie on Thursday (16Aug12) at the film's Los Angeles premiere.
The 19 year old and her boyfriend Nick Gordon, who was informally adopted by Houston when he was 12, smiled for the cameras as they posed on the red carpet at the event, which was also attended by Sparkle stars Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Mike Epps and Cee Lo Green.
Taking to Twitter.com before the premiere, Brown messaged Sparks and wrote, "See you tonight mamacita ! I can't wait . It's gonna be tough, let's try to Celebrate. love you Jordan".
She then added, "Time to walk this carpet&rep (represent) mommy like she would want me too (sic)".
Continue reading: Bobbi Kristina Honours Whitney At Sparkle Premiere
The singer shot to fame as a contestant on American Idol, which she won in 2007, and went on to enjoy chart success with two hit albums.
After falling out with her record label and cutting ties with her management, Sparks worried her showbusiness career was at an end - before she was offered the part in the upcoming movie musical, which co-stars late legend Whitney Houston.
Sparks tells Reuters, "Sparkle came at a moment where I was actually pretty unsure with what was happening in my career.
Continue reading: Jordin Sparks Feared For Career Before Sparkle Role
The I Will Always Love You hitmaker recruited Gary Catona to help plot her comeback following a period of prolonged drug abuse seven years ago, and he admits she was not ready to return to the studio - or the film set - when she signed on for her last film.
He tells the New York Post, "When I first started working with her in 2005, she had lost 99.9 per cent of her voice. She could barely speak, let alone sing.
"Her lifestyle choices had made her almost completely hoarse... She was not a disciplined person in her personal life, and, away from our sessions, she was under the influence of so many forces. She allowed other people to control her."
Continue reading: Whitney Houston's Former Voice Coach Won't Watch Sparkle
The American Idol star plays a talented young hopeful in the film - and wanted to make sure film fans thought she knew what she was doing when sitting at the piano.
She tells WENN, "I took a lot from Alicia Keys because I toured with her and I watched her every single night. I just remember the emotion that she had. The great thing was as long as I had the beats right and the major points of the song it looked like I did, but I didn't really play it.
"I think I pulled it off and it looked like I was playing."
Continue reading: Jordin Sparks Studied Alicia Keys For Piano Tips
The singer-turned-actress made her feature film debut in the musical drama and she admits she was wracked with nerves ahead of her first romantic encounter with Luke, because she was convinced his spouse wanted to kill her.
She tells the New York Daily News, "The first time I had to kiss Derek, I was sooo nervous. His wife was there on the set that day and I thought, 'She'll kill me'.
"I mean, I don't go around kissing strangers. I finally got comfortable kissing Derek. But I had to do it (kiss a co-star) again for a new movie. I don't know if I'll ever get used to that."
Continue reading: Jordin Sparks Feared Derek Luke's Wife On Sparkle Set
The No Air hitmaker grew close to Houston while shooting the new rags-to-riches story last year (11) and Sparks was preparing to hit the red carpet with the soul superstar at Clive Davis' pre-Grammys party in Hollywood in February (12) when the icon was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room.
Recalling the horror of the night Houston died, she says, "I was about to go change into my dress and there was a knock on the door. It was my publicist, who told me, 'Whitney's gone.' I said, 'What do you mean? Did she leave the hotel already?' And she said, 'No - Whitney's passed.'
"I was so shocked I couldn't even move. I didn't know what to do. I didn't go to the Grammys (pre-party) that night, and I cancelled a lot of appearances after that. I didn't want people asking me about her. I just didn't think it was my place to say anything."
Continue reading: Jordin Sparks Isolated Herself After Whitney's Death
The Grammy Award-nominated star will play club owner Buddy opposite fellow musicians Whitney Houston and Cee-Lo Green in the film, which also features actors Derek Luke, Omari Hardwick and Tika Sumpter.
And Kem will have much support in facing his big screen jitters - the cast is currently filming the project in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
He says, "I've always had the idea that I'd like to try my hand at acting one day, and I'm very thankful to have the chance to do that with a classic film such as Sparkle. That the film is set in Detroit and being filmed in Detroit only enhances this extraordinary experience for me."
Continue reading: Kem To Make Acting Debut In Sparkle