Jordin Sparks pays tribute to 'Sparkle' co-star Whitney Houston
Jordin Sparks, who was the sixth season winner of "American Idol," paid tribute to Whitney Houston at the 5th Annual Essence luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday.
The singer, who will appear opposite Houston in the upcoming film "Sparkle," talked about meeting the music legend on the first day of filming.
"The first day she got [to the set] she's scolding me, and I'm thinking this is the best day ever," Sparks said at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, according to People magazine. She went from being this unreachable supernova pop star to my co-star, 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."
In "Sparkle," which is slated to hit theaters on August 17, 2012, Houston portrays the mother of a singer played by Jordin Sparks. "Sparkle" is a remake of the 1976 movie of the same name and follows three sisters who form a successful singing group and are subsequently forced to deal with the fallout of fame and drugs.
"When you see Sparkle, you will be so happy to see the joy that is on her face," Sparks continued. "Every day started with Whitney saying, 'How are my babies doing? Are you guys good? God is good.' It translates on the screen."
The 22-year-old singer also performed a song entitled "Look into Your Heart," which was performed by Houston in the upcoming film.
"I looked up to her and I sang her songs. Then all of a sudden, I was in a movie with her and I got to see her face-to-face, and she was so kind and she was so sweet," Sparks told Access Hollywood of working with her idol. "She was an incredible woman and I was very, very blessed to get to know her for the short time that I did, but she was incredible."
Attendees at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon included Oscar nominees and actresses like Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Paula Patton, Pam Grier and Kerry Washington.
Houston was pronounced dead at age 48 at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California on February 11, a day before the 2012 Grammy Awards.
A memorial service was held for the singer on February 18 and included guests like Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder. Speakers included Kevin Costner, Tyler Perry, music mogul Clive Davis, who helped launch her career and Cece Winans, a gospel singer who is also the godmother of Houston's daughter. Gospel singer and pastor Marvin Winans gave the eulogy.
Sparks was 17-years-old when she won the reality singing competition, which makes her the youngest winner in the show's history. Her single "No Air" is the highest selling single from any "American Idol" contestant and she received an American Music Award in 2008 and a Grammy nomination the following year.
In 2007, she released her self-titled debut album, which went platinum and sold over 2 million copies. Her second album, "Battlefield" was released in 2009 and sold almost 2 million copies worldwide.
"It was just a shift in my thinking. Instead of talking about being more active, I just got up and did it," Sparks told People magazine at the time. "There's no secret... Anybody can do it."