Whitney Houston's Last Hurrah

The deceased pop star appears in the film "Sparkle," which is slated for release in August.

Hoping to launch a career comeback, famed singer Whitney Houston joined the cast for the remake of the 1976 movie Sparkle, which is being released by Sony Pictures on Aug. 17.

She stars alongside American Idol season six winner and platinum-selling singer Jordin Sparks as the mother of three sisters who must deal with the difficulties of fame as their singing careers take off.

Houston's final music recordings will be heard in the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She sings the gospel classic Eyes on the Sparrow and duets with Sparks on the new R. Kelly song Celebrate during the end credits.

 outside the Saturday evening after news broke that  in her fourth-floor hotel room at the age of 48. She was reportedly found .

Houston was pronounced dead at about 3:55 p.m. Saturday, according to Beverly Hills Police Department spokesman Lt. Mark Rosen. He said Beverly Hills emergency personnel responded to a 911 call to Houston's room at 3:43 p.m. and began resuscitation efforts upon arrival, yet were unable to revive her. There were no immediate indications of criminal intent, Rosen said. The Los Angeles County coroner's office will now try to determine a cause of death. 

The singer was in town for the 54th annual Grammy Awards taking place Sunday at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. A six-time Grammy winner herself, Houston reigned over the pop charts in the 1980s and 1990s with hits like How Will I Know, Saving All My Love for You and I Will Always Love You. She crossed over into acting with starring roles in The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher's Wife. 

Houston's rise to fame and subsequent fall from grace have made media headlines throughout her career. She was discovered by Clive Davis in the 1980s, the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and a cousin of vocalist Dionne Warwick. Houston's godmother was Aretha Franklin, often dubbed the Queen of Soul.

But upon marrying New Edition singer Bobby Brown in 1992, rumors of drug, alcohol and domestic abuse began to tarnish Houston's clean image. During her union with Brown, bizarre behavior and a declining voice made Houston fodder for gossip rags. The couple had one child together, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, who was born in 1993.

"The biggest devil is me," the singer told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an often-cited 2002 interview with Brown. "I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy."

The 2005 reality TV series Being Bobby Brown aired for one season and gave America a glimpse into Houston and Brown's troubled relationship. They divorced in 2007. Since then, Houston had been linked to R&B artist Ray J, who is 17 years her junior and the brother of Grammy Award-winning singer Brandy. Though the duo reportedly dated on and off for several years, they were spotted in early February at the Hollywood club Playhouse and the Beverly Hills restaurant Crustacean.

News of Houston's erratic behavior began to creep back into the press recently. According to Houston's obituary in the Los Angeles Times, the singer was disruptive at Thursday's rehearsals for Davis' annual pre-Grammy industry party held Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton. Houston was supposed to perform at the event, which went on as scheduled.

To read the Times obituary, click here.


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