R. Kelly relished his time in the studio with Whitney Houston working on the soundtrack for the tragic star's last movie Sparkle, even though they squabbled like siblings during the sessions.
The film's director, Salim Akil, approached the R&B singer to refresh the original 1976 movie's score and create a series of new tracks, along with the help of Houston, who was starring in the movie.
Kelly admits he loved the daily arguments with the How Will I Know hitmaker over how the songs should be performed, because she reminded him of his sister.
He tells MTV.com, "I'm proud of the whole outcome of the movie, the cast and everything. When the director came to me about a year and half ago about it, and explained it to me, (I thought) 'that's right up and down my alley.'
"I grew up watching (original 1976 film) Sparkle. It's one of my favourite movies and I've kinda (sic) got the old school and new school in me, so it was perfect for me to go back and dig up that old vibe as far as the old tracks was (sic) concerned. It was perfect, and I had a ball doing it.
"We challenged each other a lot in the studio, from the first moment we laid eyes on each other, but it was a lot of fun. Whitney was a ball of fun, she reminded me of my sister who I used to argue with over music and that's what me and Whitney did - we argued over what note she wanted to hit and what note I wanted her to hit, but it was fun. At the end of the day, we got it down."
Houston died in February (12), three months after filming wrapped.
An energetic cast and some terrific music make up for the rather hackneyed plot of...