February 11th 2012 marked a tragic date in pop music. It was approximately 15:55 PST at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California when the legendary icon Whitney Houston was shockingly pronounced dead, leaving the world in mourning. The entertainer recently returned to a movie set for “Sparkle“, a remake of the 1976 hit, which was loosely based on the story of The Supremes. It is scheduled be released nationwide (U.S.) in August, according to Sony Pictures. It was her first movie role since 1996’s “The Preacher’s Wife.”
On January 13th 2012, London-based gospel music & media specialist Ryan Bruce (better known as “Ryan J“), caught up with one of the co-stars of “Sparkle”, on the red carpet at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon in Nashville, Tamela Mann. Not knowing that they were discussing Whitney’s very last movie, Tamela expressed in excitement “OH MY GOD, working with Whitney Houston was like, the bomb. It was so much fun, we were listening to music..she was so sweet and very inviting. We just really had a good time“. Tamela was previously a member of Kirk Franklin’s ‘The Family’, but is now a very well-known Gospel Solo Artist who is gearing up to release a new album in 2012. She is also very popular for her reoccurring roles in Tyler Perry’s movies, where she plays “Cora Brown”.
“Sparkle” was produced by Bishop TD Jakes, who released the following statement just hours after Whitney’s untimely death: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely passing of Whitney Houston, whom we were blessed to have just completed work with on the remake of the film “Sparkle.” We ask the world to join us in lifting up Whitney’s family in prayer and ask God for their strength and comfort during this devastatingly difficult time. At the apex of her career, Whitney had no peer, with a voice that shaped a generation. She has left behind a musical and film legacy that will endure…. she will be sorely missed by us all“.
The 1976 remake will also star Jordin Sparks, Cee Lo Green, Mike Epps and Derek Luke. Co-Producer Curtis Wallace told the Detroit News that Houston behaved professionally throughout the shoot in the city. “She started to take on a mother-type role, especially with Jordin (Sparks),” he said. “She was spending time with her and giving her advice“.
Sony Pictures has confirmed that the superstar’s tragic death will not impact on its plans for the movie, which is set for release on August 17th 2012 (eight days after what would have been Houston’s 49th birthday). The fate of the film was up in the air, with fans wondering if the release date would be revised due to Whitney’s tragic passing, or if it was even still being released.
SEE THE OFFICIAL TAMELA MANN INTERVIEW HERE:
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