With the video for “Celebrate,” the first single off of the Sparkle soundtrack, Jordin Sparks honors her late co-star Whitney Houston.

Recording a song with Whitney was a dream come true for the young singer, but after the legend’s tragic death in February the concept for the video changed completely.

“We planned on it being Whitney and me,” Sparks told BET. “But she’s not here, so we wanted to make it a tribute to her.”

Along with shots from the upcoming musical remake, due out August 17, the video features the cast of the movie singing along to Whitney’s music at a party thrown by Jordin.

“It’s actually pretty simple,” she said. “But when you watch it and hear her voice along with it, it makes it so much more.”

The American Idol alum has been a fan of Whitney’s since she was a kid and wanted the video to celebrate her final film role. She pays tribute to her hero by wearing a t-shirt that features the album cover of Houston’s 1990 album, I’m Your Baby Tonight. 

Even as the release date of the movie gets closer, Sparks still has a hard time believing she actually got a chance to work with the diva.

“We did a song together,” she said. “It just blows my mind really. But it’s also a little bittersweet. Even though I got a chance to do the song with her, it was her last recording. So now her legacy and my story are forever intertwined — it’s crazy for me to think about.”

Even though the two women recorded their vocals separately for the duet, which was written by R. Kelly, Jordin says she “could just hear the smile in Whitney’s voice when she was singing it.”

The movie soundtrack comes out July 31 and features music from Houston, Sparks and Cee Lo Green.

Watch the video for “Celebrate” below.

Shannon Carlin, CBS Local


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