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Sparkle trailer offers glimpse of Whitney Houston's last film

Although her life was a series of bad decisions and her voice was faltering, Whitney Houston sings and delivers cautionary career advice in her final movie role.

The late singer plays the mother of aspiring pop stars in the upcoming film Sparkle, which was supposed to launch her big-screen comeback.

The trailer for Sparkle debuted Monday morning on NBC's Today Show, with a longer clip later released to Yahoo! Movies.

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Scheduled for theatrical release on Aug. 17, Sparkle is a remake of a 1976 film that starred Irene Cara.

Houston is listed as an executive producer of the remake, which marked her first movie role since The Preacher's Wife in 1996. Houston garnered her best acting role with the 1992 feature The Bodyguard.

The Sparkle remake casts Houston in the pivotal role of Emma, a once-famous singer turned single mother whose three daughters form a singing group and struggle with fame, drug addiction and unwise choices in men. In her own life, Houston was married to singer Bobby Brown from 1992 to 2005, and the marriage was beset with rumours of physical abuse and drug addiction.

In the Sparkle trailer, Houston is shown imparting sage career advice to her offspring. "I always knew you had the gift," she says to eldest daughter Sparkle, played by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks. "It makes me feel like I did something right. Don't lose it."

Houston also sings in the film and the trailer includes a clip of her performing the classic gospel song His Eye Is on the Sparrow.

Filmed primarily in Detroit, Sparkle wrapped shooting several weeks before Houston died in a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel room on Feb. 11 at age 48, on the eve of the Grammy Awards.

An autopsy last month revealed that the singer accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors.

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