Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American recording artist, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all-time. Houston was one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. She released six studio albums, one holiday album and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts, as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know", influenced several African American female artists to follow in her footsteps.
Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only female artist to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Album") on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston's 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best-selling debut album by a female act at the time of its release. The album was named Rolling Stone's best album of 1986, and was ranked at number 254 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Houston's first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single "I Will Always Love You", became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. With the album, Houston became the first act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period under Nielsen SoundScan system. The album makes her the top female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The Preacher's Wife soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history.
Jordin Brianna Sparks (born December 22, 1989) is an American pop and R&B recording artist, songwriter and actress. At the age of 17, Sparks won the sixth season of American Idol, becoming the youngest winner in American Idol history and remains as the most recent female to win American Idol. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2007, which spawned two top-ten singles on the US Billboard Hot 100—"Tattoo" and "No Air" (with Chris Brown)—and was certified platinum by the RIAA. The album managed to sell more than two million copies worldwide. "No Air" is currently the third highest-selling single by any American Idol contestant, selling over three million digital copies in the US. The song earned Sparks her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
Throughout her career, Sparks has won numerous awards, including a NAACP Image Awards, a BET Award, an American Music Award, a People's Choice Award and two Teen Choice Awards. In 2009, Billboard magazine ranked her as the 91st Artist of the 2000s Decade. In 2012, Sparks was ranked at number 92 on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Women in Music". As of February 2012, she has sold 1.3 million albums and 9.8 million singles in the United States alone, making her one of the most successful American Idol contestants of all time.
Sparks branched out from recording music, pursuing careers in acting and broadway, and designing perfumes. She made guest appearances on several television series, beginning with The Suite Life On Deck in 2009, and later in Big Time Rush in 2010. That same year, Sparks made her broadway debut in the musical, In The Heights, starring as Nina Rosario. She will make her feature film debut in a remake of the musical film, Sparkle (2012). In October 2010, Sparks released her first perfume, Because of You..., which was followed by her second perfume, Fascinate, in March 2012. That same year, People magazine named Sparks as one of 2012's "Most Beautiful at Every Age".
Derek Luke (born April 24, 1974) is an American actor. He won the Independent Spirit Award for his big-screen debut performance in the 2002 film Antwone Fisher. Luke played one of the four male leads in Spike Lee's 2008 war film Miracle at St. Anna. He also played small parts in episodes of the sitcoms The King of Queens, Trauma and Moesha.
He plays Alicia Keys' love interest in her music video for "Teenage Love Affair" and Monica's love interest in the her music video for "So Gone".
Luke has starred in several films such as; Friday Night Lights (2004), Spartan (2004), Glory Road (2006), Catch a Fire (2006), Lions for Lambs (2007), Definitely, Maybe (2008), Notorious (2009), Madea Goes to Jail (2009), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Sparkle (2012), and Seeking A Friend for the End of the World (2012).
Michael Elliot "Mike" Epps (born November 18, 1970) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, film producer, writer and rapper. He is best known for playing Day-Day Jones in Next Friday (2000) and the sequel-to-the-sequel, Friday After Next (2002). He also appeared in The Hangover (2009) and was the voice of Boog in Open Season 2 (2008). As of 2010, Epps was the executive producer on a documentary about the life story of a former member of Tupac Shakur's Outlawz, Napoleon: Life of an Outlaw.
Some of Epps other movies include; How High (2001), All About the Benjamins (2002), The Fighting Temptations (2003), Next Day Air (2009), Lottery Ticket (2010), Jumping the Broom (2011), and Sparkle (2012).
Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo (born in Janurary 1, 1974) is a British Nigerian television and film actress and singer, currently based in the United States.
Ejogo's television career began in the UK in the early 1990s, where she presented the children's series Saturday Disney. Subsequently, she has had an acting career in the US. She has appeared in Metro (1997), What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001), and Love's Labour's Lost (2000). She also presented The Carmen Ejogo Video Show — her own video show on BSB's Power Station channel and starred as Thomas Jefferson's slave mistress in the television drama Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal (2000).
Some other films Ejogo starred in include; The Brave One (2007), Pride and Glory (2008), and Sparkle (2012).
August 19, 2012
Release Date: August 17, 2012
Directed by: Salim Akil
Cast: Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo
Description: Musical prodigy, Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) struggles to become a star while overcoming issues that are tearing her family apart. From an affluent Detroit area and daughter to a single mother (Whitney Houston), she tries to balance a new romance with music manager, Stix (Derek Luke) while dealing with the unexpected challenges her new life will bring as she and her two sisters (Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter) strive to become a dynamic singing group during the Motown-era.
Review: I have to admit, the only reason I saw this movie was because of my love for the late Whitney Houston. She has not been in very many movies and doesn’t have much acting experience but she has such an angelic presence about her. She only signs one song in this movie but I am glad she finally did as half way through I began to wonder if we were going to get to hear her or not. You could definitely hear the wear and tear of life on her voice but it was still beautiful.
Houston plays a former singer (Emma) who has raised three daughters on her own and wants to spare her daughters from the life she has suffered through. As a result of this she has turned into a bitter old nag that won’t let her daughters do anything. Despite their mother’s rules, the girls sneak out to clubs at night and sing.
Jordin Sparks, who plays Sparkle, is a cute girl who is good for the part but lacks the acting experience to make a great film. She is a good person for the singing part with her strong voice although she mostly sings backup until the end when she gets to shine solo. Throughout most of the movie she is stuck under the shadow of her big sister, Sister.
Sister is played by Carmen Ejogo who does a wonderful job, as she is a great actor. She holds the well deserved spotlight in the show and does a great job as her character begins to fail. She is able to bring the audience with her as she sinks deeper and deeper into a misfortunate life of fame and showbiz. She seems to follow in her mama’s (Houston) footsteps. This is the exact thing Emma was trying to avoid for her daughter’s.
I am glad that I watched this movie. It was nice to see Whitney in her last performance. The film was filled with much emotion and drama. There are a few scenes of domestic violence that might be hard for some to watch but other than that I would recommend it to anyone over the age of 13. I wouldn’t let anyone younger see it due to the adult content and violence.