Lifetime's upcoming Whitney Houston movie can't come any sooner.
And I'm more than happy to report that the production will feature some of the late singing legend's music.
However, there is one hitch—we won't actually be hearing the voice of Houston or Yaya DaCosta, the former America's Next Top Model hopeful who is playing her in the Angela Bassett-directed film. I can exclusively reveal that Houston's songs will be sung by...R&B singer Deborah Cox!
A Lifetime rep tells me that "music rights and clearances are still being worked out," but Cox will be providing the "vocal tracks."
It was announced in May that Bassett, who co-starred with Houston in Waiting to Exhale, would make her directorial debut with the Lifetime original movie about the late singer. The movie is said to be focusing on Houston's relationship with Bobby Brown. Just yesterday, Lifetime released the first photo of DaCosta as Houston and Arlen Escarpeta as the former New Edition singer.
Houston's family is not involved with the production.
"I really just want to tell a story about a boy and a girl who fell in love," Bassett recently told CNN. "And these are the words and this is the place, and these are the people on the outside, you know? And I want to be as honest as I can about doing that." She also said that Houston's substance abuse will be addressed. "Well, we know that drugs were a part of their story and that's certainly an element of their story. We can't tell their story without that," Bassett said. "It's involved, and I hope we can unpack it gently."
Rounding out the cast are Yolanda Ross as Houston's best friend Robyn Crawford, Suzzanne Douglas as her mom Cissy and Mark Rolston as Clive Davis, the music industry icon who discovered Houston in 1983.
The movie, which is currently shooting in Los Angeles, is set to premiere on Lifetime next year.