Buzz surrounding the remake of 1976’s Sparkle has been quickly building since the passing of music icon Whitney Houston. But with the release of the official trailer, fans are anxious to hear the music that will accompany the film set during the Motown era.
Entertainment Weekly got the opportunity to speak with lead actress Jordin Sparks and director Salim Akil about the movie’s soundtrack that captures Houston’s spectacular voice one last time.
“Celebrate,” written by R. Kelly, is a duet between Sparks and Houston.
“It’s just an upbeat, fun song with two women who can really blow,” says Akil. “It’s just one of those kind of songs. There’s no other way to put it. You’ve got two strong women who can sing their asses off. It’s upbeat and they’re trading off like Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley.”
Sparks said her opportunity to work with the legend is one she’s been waiting for her whole life.
“I actually just heard a cut of it the other day and my jaw was on the floor,” she says. “For me as a singer growing up listening to her, to be able to do a song with her is incredible. And being her friend, just hearing how she sounded, it was amazing. So I can’t wait for people to hear that. I cannot wait.”
R. Kelly penned another original song for the film that Sparks says is “deep R&B” with a “’60s flair.”
The soundtrack will include updated versions of original songs such as “Look Into Your Heart,” “Jump” and Aretha Franklin‘s “Something He Can Feel.”
And as for the title track?
“No, not the song ‘Sparkle,'” Sparks said. “Which actually could change, because we’re still working on getting songs on the soundtrack. That could be a possibility. I was wondering about that too! I’m actually meeting with people who are working on the soundtrack today. You know what, I’m going to mention that.”
Sparkle hits theaters nationwide August 17.