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Full 'Sparkle' soundtrack now streaming; Jordin Sparks calls experience 'Bittersweet'

The release of Sparkle is still a month away, but the soundtrack album is hitting several weeks earlier, on July 31.

Written largely by R. Kelly and Curtis Mayfield, the album features vocal contributions from Jordin Sparks, Cee-Lo Green, and the late Whitney Houston. A handful of the songs have already been released, and now the entirety of the soundtrack is currently streaming at Essence.

EW spoke to Sparks this weekend about the experience of making Sparkle and dealing with the aftermath of Houston’s sudden passing. “It is hard because it is bittersweet,” Sparks says. “I worked with my idol and that was a dream come true. I used to watch the Cinderella adaptation with her and Brandy every day after school. But she should really be here promoting it with me and [it's] really hard for me to be doing it alone.”

“Singing her song at the Billboard awards was the hardest thing I have ever done,” she explained. “I think the only reason I got through it without sobbing was because she’s up there watching over me.”

Check out the Sparkle soundtrack streaming exclusively over at Essence. The album is in stores next Tuesday, with the movie hitting theaters on August 17.

Additional reporting by Carrie Bell

Read More on EW.com:
‘Sparkle’ soundtrack listing: Whitney Houston’s final recordings coming July 31
‘Sparkle': Video for Whitney Houston-Jordin Sparks duet ‘Celebrate’ debuts — WATCH
Whitney Houston duets with Jordin Sparks for ‘Sparkle’ track: Hear it here

Additional reporting by Carrie Bell

Whitney Houston duets with Jordin Sparks for 'Sparkle' track: Hear it here

When Whitney Houston passed away back in February, she had already finished working on her final film Sparkle, a remake of a rags-to-riches flick from 1976 co-starring Jordin Sparks. That toil included Houston’s final new recordings, including the duet “Celebrate,” which just surfaced this morning.

Like all the music from Sparkle, this tag-team between Houston and Sparks was produced by R. Kelly, and his fingerprints are all over the bubbly backing track and unfussy arrangement.

Houston isn’t asked to do all that much, but the song drives home how authoritative her voice could still be and just how much Sparks’ approach owes to Whitney’s. Give “Celebrate” a spin below. READ FULL STORY

Some details on Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, and R. Kelly's 'Sparkle' soundtrack, including that Whitney-Jordin duet

The trailer for the upcoming remake of the 1976 musical drama Sparkle (which stars Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston) features a few promising snippets of the movie’s music, including bits of “Hooked on Your Love” and “Something He Can Feel,” which Aretha Franklin sang on the original film’s Curtis Mayfield-produced soundtrack. Intrigued? We talked to Sparks and Sparkle director Salim Akil about what to expect from the soundtrack.

–The film will include new versions of most of the original songs, including “Something He Can Feel” (which En Vogue scored a hit with in the early ’90s), “Look Into Your Heart,” and “Jump.” But not the classic title track? “No, not the song ‘Sparkle,'” says Sparks. “Which actually could change, because we’re still working on getting songs on the soundtrack. That could be a possiblilty. 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.”

–In addition to some arranging work, R. Kelly wrote two brand-new songs for the movie. READ FULL STORY

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