by Jessica Marshall
Hey divas, it's time to wrap that feather boa around your neck, don your most eye-catching sequins and rhinestones, warm up those vocal cords and prepare to sing your little hearts out. Whitney Houston's last film ever, the musical saga, "Sparkle," is about to hit theaters, y'all. And we want you to be ready for a bedazzling time.
"Sparkle" is a remake of a 1976 film of the same name, which gave birth to the iconic Motown hit "Something He Can Feel" and was based loosely on the real-life rise to fame of Diana Ross and the Supremes. "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks stars in the modern version as Sparkle, a musical prodigy coming of age in 1960s-era Detroit, who struggles to make it in Motown in a girl group she forms with her two sisters. Whitney Houston, who also served as executive producer of the film, co-stars as her soulful but strict single mother, and smokin' hot Derek Luke plays her manager boyfriend. The story centers around the challenges and triumphs they all face in a world where making it in music is life. Original tunes as well as familiar favorites provide the soundtrack, which is voiced by some of the world's best and brightest performers.
But like any good musician knows, warm-up is essential for a great performance. So here are five things you can do to get ready for this musical extravaganza hitting theaters this week:
Listen to every Whitney Houston song ever
You guys, this was Whitney’s last artistic endeavor before she died—mere months after wrapping filming. This calls for a full-on Whitney memorial marathon. Crank up the stereo, pop in your well-worn copy of "The Bodyguard" soundtrack, put on something fabulous and rock out like it's your one moment in time. Don't be afraid to let it all out! You're every woman!
This Oscar-winning film has a very similar plot to "Sparkle." In fact, it's based on an '80s stage musical that is thought to have taken some inspiration from the original 1976 version of "Sparkle." A trio of talented young vocalists (Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Anika Noni Rose) from 1960s Chicago rise up from humble beginnings to the top of the pop charts, where they find both glittering success and disappointing heartbreak. The music is spellbinding and the performances are fantastic. And if you feel like making it a marathon, why not throw in a viewing of the original "Sparkle." There will be no end to the musical treats you will enjoy while viewing.
Watch or listen to Jordin Sparks perform
In 2006, at age 17, Jordin Sparks became the youngest ever "American Idol" winner. There's a good reason she won, folks. She's adorable and she's got a killer set of pipes. Since then, she's been all over the charts, churning out hit after hit. "No Air" and "Battlefield" are good songs to start with, and also be sure to check out the song she sang in the "AI" final, "This Is My Now."
Go to Motown
See where the magic happened! The backdrop of "Sparkle" is also home to the musical movement that gave the world Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and birthed the "Motown Sound" that, let's be honest, makes most of us grow weak in the knees. So pay a visit to Detroit, where you can visit the Motown Museum, located at the original offices of Motown Records.
Do karaoke. Lots of it.
For the majority of us who aren't professional singers, this is our moment to take the mic and shine. Pick a soulful tune like "Something He Can Feel" or an upbeat hit like Whitney's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and just wail. Show the world—or at least the other patrons of whatever karaoke haunt you choose—what you've got. Don't hold back on your dreams!
Do you plan to see "Sparkle" this weekend? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!