Cee Lo Green joins 'Sparkle' cast, while R. Kelly signs on for soundtrack


Image Credit: Kent Miller/PR Photos

The big-screen remake of the 1976 film Sparkle just got a bit, er, more sparkly. EW has confirmed that Cee Lo Green, the Grammy-winning multi-platinum R&B singer and mentor on NBC’s The Voice, has joined the cast, which includes American Idol winner Jordin Sparks in the title role of an aspiring music star, and Whitney Houston as her mother. 

Carmen Ejogo (Away We Go) and Tika Sumpter (The CW’s Gossip Girl) have also signed up to play Sparks’ sisters, Sister and Dolores; together, the trio rise together in the Motown-era music business as a Supremes-like group. Green will play their opening act, while another new addition, Omari Hardwick (TNT’s Dark Blue), will play one of the love interests for Ejogo’s character. Derek Luke and Mike Epps round out the cast. Director Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom) will helm the film from a script penned by his wife Mara Brock Akil (The CW’s Girlfriends).

Meanwhile, R&B superstar R. Kelly has agreed to write original music for the Sparkle soundtrack.

The film is set to begin shooting next month.

Read more:
Whitney Houston circling ‘Sparkle’ musical remake with Jordin Sparks

Comments (105 total) Add your comment
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  • lisa g.

    Disaster…not one of those names make me wanna see that! Watch they will mess up a classic!

    • zuma

      Agree, The whole thing sounds like a ~hot mess of mediocrity.

      • tang2

        These actors just aren’t compelling! Jordan sparks looks like a young Irene cars but let’s face it, theres a reason she hasn’t become a big star…she just doesn’t have IT…she’s boring!BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a celebrity !they met via
        Millionaireloving.C óM ..it is the largest and best club for celebrity and their admirers to chat online.You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

      • lisa g.

        Lol AT this spam stealing my comment…damn bot!

  • gigi

    While I’m a fan of Mara Brock Akil, this movie just seems like a mistake.

  • bobbyv

    I didn’t see the original until the 80’s, but I watch the movie every time I catch it on. And sadly, I feel another hatchet job of a classic film coming on. The cast sounds uninspiring, and the “original music from R. Kelly” is frightening. At least keep the music…the soundtrack is classic!!

    • janelle

      R. Kelly is one of the most gifted R&B producers in the world. Did you forget that he produced songs for Celine and Madonna, both of which went straight to number one? He also wrote and produced MJ’s “You Are Not Alone.” I’m sure he’ll do a great job.

      • lisa g.

        Janelle….yes he is a genius but u don’t mess with THAT soundtrack! This whole thing is a big ole fail before it even starts! Anybody know what this actress who will play Sister looks like? I haven’t giggled her yet.

    • Tacara


  • lisa g.


  • Dee Jones

    The only problem I have is Whitney Houston. I don`t know about the film itself, but the soundtrack will be off the hook with R. Kelly at the helm. I don`t know if it can beat Curtis Mayfield`s classic soundtrack, with him producing and Aretha singing her face off, pure magic!

  • lisa g.

    These actors just aren’t compelling! Jordan sparks looks like a young Irene cars but let’s face it, theres a reason she hasn’t become a big star…she just doesn’t have IT…she’s boring!

  • Rev George

    This will be a #1 Hit :-) Great Cast!

  • Ashley

    Only problem is Whitney. How about all the actors with the exception of Omari (here’s hoping he plays Satin) are a big old Flag on the Field!

    Jordin Sparks playing the Irene Cara character, Whitney Houston in place of Mary Alice (who was a dignified woman trying to make it raising her daughters yeah I can see Whit doing that). Carmen in place of Lonette McKee. Who is Derek Luke supposed to be…Phillip Michael Thomas. And while I like R Kelly’s music I agree about the soundtrack…its classic….add one or two songs if you must be leave the rest alone. Yeah…this is a disaster in the making.

  • Justin

    Jesus Christ just what we need another Tyler Perry movie that’s a musical with a singer that pees on little girls. Wonderful no wonder racism is still arounds.

    • Justin rocks!

      That is the greatest comment ever posted on this site. Thanks for the laugh! People should be more like u!

      • Adam

        Truer words have never been spoken!

      • lisa g.

        How is it the greatest ever when It’s inaccurate? Wait..this is Justin’s alias right? Pathetic.

      • Justin

        Ghetto Lisa I’m so proud of you I didn’t know you were even smart enough to know a word like alias!

      • lisa g

        This coming from a loser who’s allergic to punctuation n is so insecure, he makes up aliases on an anonymous message board…smh! Lmaoooooo

      • lol

        LMAO @ you co-signing yourself. How sad!

  • lisa g.

    I googledthe girl playing Sister…..yeah like I said….FAIL. isn’t Whitney producing this? She must still be on crack!

    • Justin rocks!

      Learn to use the space bar!

      • lisa g.

        Just like a failure to focus on a typo…feel better about urself now? That’s ok tomorrow u will be back to ur miserable existence….hehe

      • Justin

        I live a very happy life Ghetto Lisa I work something you might want to try, or maybe finish school.

      • Justin

        Failure? Don’t ghetto people just say Hater now?

      • mark

        @Justin and Justin rocks: learn to use punctuation!

      • lisa g.

        Justin is obviously trolling. He’s a loser whose original comment is ridiculous! T.Perry has nothing to do w this movie n employing r Kelly has nothing to do w racism!

      • lisa g.

        Also, I like how Justin just totally blew his cover as “Justin rocks” by responding to a comment clearly directed at this Justin rocks alias. Fools!

      • Bethenney

        Good catch, Lisa. Yeah, he messed up. LOL

  • lisa g.

    Justin..what the hell r u talking about? U really need to stfu cuz u r waaay off base!

    • Adam

      Ha ha lady got served!

      • lisa g.

        Shut up Justin….this is another one of ur lame aliases n u know it. Talking abt somebody got “served”.lol yes ur lame!

      • Justin

        Wow I got three replies to my trolling here. I think that means winning! PS Lisa learn to cap your name!

    • lisa g.

      Listen idiot…u try switching from a blackberry to an EVO ya lil ignorant creep

    • Gregory

      Justin, you actually typed less than Lisa G. so what point were you trying to make again?

  • keri

    looking forward to this movie and love that r kelly will be working on the soundtrack. Salem Akil said that some of the original songs will still be used and R kelly will add new ones. i’m sure R will bring it.

    Whitney is producing with Debra Chase so I’m sure they will bring it. They did Cinderella, The Cheetah Girls and The Princess Diaries and all were sucessful Derek Luke is a critically acclaimed actor, goggle Antwone Fisher.
    Can’t wait.

    • lisa g.

      Sorry but I don’t trust Whitney’s judgement! The casting is all wrong. I doubt this makes it to the big screen…likely will end up on lifetime..lol

      • Justin

        You do know you’re supposed to capitalize the first letter in your name right Ghetto Lisa?

  • Disappointed

    I’m happy for Tika and Omari. I just feel like this was cast more on friendships than talent alone. I’m sorry but Carmen as Whitney’s daughter? Carmen is like 38 yrs old and looks good for her age, but she’s def someone’s mother not a young girl who still lives at home. And as bubbly as Jordin is personality wise, she does not have the essence/je ne sais quoi of a Sparkle character. Irene Cara was cast perfectly in the original. I just wish black hollywood was interested in discovering new talent who are perfect for the job like white hollywood is.

    • lisa g.

      Nice comment…..ita!

    • MovieBuff

      I agree that this casting is more on friendship than talent. I watched Tika on Stomp the Yard & The Game and I didn’t think either part was right for her. Maybe they are looking for inexpensive talent & not real talent for the roles they are casting. But white hollywood is getting it right.

  • Bella

    The comments here are so racist…I’m sure half of yall are members of the clu clux clan!!! I’m looking forward to watching this movie…Jordin Sparks&Whitney Houston are probably the brightest stars in this movie,but all the other cast members are good actors too.R.Kelly is one of the greatest songwriter/singer the music world has to offer today…If Tyler Perrys movie and “HereComesTheBroom” was a hit…then this will be a hit too.Mark My word haters (LisaG.,DeeJones…etc..)!!!!

    • Justin

      Your dumb and racist like the rest of the black people in here Hater.

      • Harper

        “You’re= “you are” “Your”= denotes possession…You’re clearly not bucking for Mensa membership anytime soon so I wouldn’t be so quick to label anyone as “dumb” if I were unfortunate enough to be you.

      • Bethenney


    • Tye-Grr

      It’s not very hard to be considered the “brightest” member of this “prestigious” group. Other than Cee-Lo, it’s filled with has-beens and wannabes. I guess you’ll be the only one who’s absolutely stunned when this bombs big time.



    • Bethenney

      Uneducated beeotch….LOL

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