The event, held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, was attended by the stars of the musical movie, including Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee Lo Green, Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter. Also in attendance were Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, sister-in-law Pat Houston and mother Cissy.
Before the film, Pat Houston went on stage and spoke to the audience.
“I can assure you that Whitney is here celebrating right now,” she told the crowd, adding that the singer would have been “so humbled” knowing that her family was in the audience.
The emotional speech ended with a note to Houston’s mother. “To my mother-in-law,” said Pat Houston, “you did good. She did it.”
After the film, which is a remake of the 1976 film of the same name following three sisters who form a singing group, the cast and filmmakers celebrated at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Houston, who died in February, was on everyone’s mind that night.
Ejogo, who plays the lead singer in the girl group whose character goes through some troubles with the curses that can come along with fame, told The Hollywood Reporter that Houston was very generous with advice while on set.
“That sort of spirit of generosity and willing to be vulnerable in that way is a rare gift in people,” she said. “It’s something that can be easily ridiculed and taken advantage of, but it should really be preserved and taken great care of because it’s a rarity.”
Epps said that the film is definitely a dedication to Houston.
“I think that people are going to enjoy watching her perform as great as she did,” he said. “And with her spirit, it feels like she never left. That’s what that movie does. It gives you the hope that her spirit will live on.”
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