The latest biopic exploring the life of the late Grammy-award-winning singer Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, is hitting the theaters this Friday, December 23. After news of the film began circling the web, fans of the vocalist had several questions. The first and most crucial question was, who would play the legendary recording artist? With the trailer’s release, we now know Rise of Skywalker actress, Naomi Ackie, will star as the Newark, New Jersey native.
Second, who will cover the revered vocalist’s songs for the film? Canadian singer Deborah Cox did the honors for the 2015 Lifetime tv film, I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story. However, this production’s executive director and Houston’s former mentor, Clive Davis, thought it would be best to keep Houston’s original vocals. Or, as he told USA Today, “We just didn’t think anyone could capture her vocal genius.”
Fans may be torn on the film’s casting, but they overwhelmingly agree with Davis’ decision to keep Houston’s original vocal in the feature film. After all, Houston is considered the greatest vocalist of all time. With such a long list of groundbreaking singles to her name, including her cover of Dolly Porton’s “I Will Always Love You,” the song viewers are looking forward to the most as part of this film is the national anthem.
Previewed in the trailer, Houston’s 1991 performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXV has remained the gold standard for decades. Unfortunately, the footage hasn’t been remastered for streaming services, but thanks to archival VHS footage, you can now watch Houston’s performance on YouTube.
Watch the full performance above.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody is set to hit the theaters on December 23. To grab your tickets, click here.