Celebrate (Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks song)
|Single by Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks|
|from the album Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Released||June 5, 2012|
|Writer(s)||Robert Sylvester Kelly|
|Whitney Houston singles chronology|
"Celebrate" is a duet by American recording artists Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks. It was written and produced by R. Kelly for the soundtrack album Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the 2012 musical drama film Sparkle. RCA Records released "Celebrate" as the first official single from the soundtrack. It is the last song recorded by Whitney Houston before she died on February 11, 2012. It was officially released on June 5, 2012 for digital download on iTunes and Amazon. The song made its US radio premiere on On Air with Ryan Seacrest on May 21, 2012. For the week June 16, 2012, "Celebrate" debuted at number 34 on the US Adult R&B Airplay. During that same week, "Celebrate" also debuted at number 84 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and has since peaked at number 62. The accompanying music video for the song was filmed on May 30, 2012. The video was shot over two days by director Marcus Raboy. The music video made its world premiere on BET's 106 & Park on June 27, 2012.
"Celebrate" was written and produced by R. Kelly and is the last song that Whitney Houston recorded; it is a duet between Houston and R&B/pop singer Jordin Sparks. It was released as the lead single from the soundtrack album Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on June 5, 2012. It was officially released on June 5, 2012 for digital download on iTunes and Amazon. The song made its US radio premiere on On Air with Ryan Seacrest on May 21, 2012. For the week June 16, 2012, "Celebrate" debuted at number 34 on the US Adult R&B Airplay chart, having amassed 45 spins for that week ending. During that same week, "Celebrate" also debuted at number 84 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and has since peaked at number 80. The music video for "Celebrate" was filmed on May 30, 2012. The video was shot over two days and a preview premiered on Entertainment Tonight on June 4, 2012. The music video made its world premiere on BET's 106 & Park on June 27, 2012.
"Celebrate" is a soul and R&B mid tempo song influenced by 60's themed music. Jason Lipshutz of Billboard wrote that the song "is a relentlessly optimistic jam that seamlessly interweaves Sparks' American Idol-winning vocals with those of her idol". During the second verse, Houston sings: "Though we've been going through changes / Just trying to make it from day to day / Tonight, don't you worry about a thing / Just cast your cares away", before the chorus returns.
"Celebrate" received positive reviews from music critics. Jason Lipshutz of Billboard called the song "a relentlessly optimistic jam that seamlessly interweaves Jordin Sparks American Idol-winning vocals with those of her idol".
For the week June 16, 2012, "Celebrate" debuted at number 34 on the US Adult R&B Airplay chart. During that same week, "Celebrate" also debuted at number 84 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and has since peaked at number 39. The song has also since made its debut on the US Adult Contemporary Billboard chart at number 26. "Celebrate" is Houston's 40th top 40 R&B hit.
The music video for "Celebrate" was filmed on May 30, 2012. The video was shot over two days in down town Los Angeles and is directed by Marcus Raboy. A preview of the video premiered on Entertainment Tonight on June 4, 2012. The music video made its world premiere on BET's 106 & Park on June 27, 2012. The music video treatment originally was set to include both Sparks and Houston, But with her unexpected passing in February 2012 before the video was shot the treatment had been changed. Sparks says "When we did the song, we planned on it being Whitney and me. But she's not here, so we wanted to make it a tribute to her. So it's fun, upbeat and exciting — there are clips from the movie and the main cast is in the video too. It's me, Tika Sumpter, Carmen Ejogo, Derek Luke, Omari Hardwick ... Goapele is in it and Mike Epps. We're all just having a good time [and the premise is] they all come over to my house singing along to Whitney's music. And we're missing her and celebrating her as well. It's actually pretty simple, but when you watch it and hear her voice along with it, it makes it so much more."
Sparks hosts a house party at her place with fellow cast members of Sparkle in attendance. Throughout the video, Footage from Sparkle, mainly focusing on Houston, is spliced in throughout the clip. Houston's scenes in the music video show the late singer in her acting prime as she smiles in many of the clips then cries in another. The final shot of the music video is an image of Houston from the film. “Celebrate” is dedicated to Houston's memory.
The video was met with positive reception. Rebecca Ford of TheHollywoodReporter.com calls it "a very positive and uplifting video". Sabrina Rojas Weiss from VH1 said "For a while now, we’ve been thinking of Sparkle as “the movie that makes us really sad about Whitney Houston.” We probably weren’t alone". She concluded "which is why the release of the video “Celebrate” was a brilliant move". Tanner Stransky of Entertainment Weekly praised the video saying "It feels triumphant, in a way, that they carried on [The Video] without Houston". Byron Flitsch from MTV.com says "we're really loving is the storyline that weaves in a montage of movie scenes" he went on to say "it's the emotional, almost home-movie quality honoring Whitney's on-screen presence that gets us all kinds of sentimental".
Awards and nominations
|2012||Soul Train Awards||"Best Gospel Inspiration Performance"||"Celebrate"||Won|
|2013||Black Reel Awards||"Best Original Song"||"Celebrate"||Nominated|
- Digital download
- "Celebrate" – 3:35
Credits and personnel
- Recorded at The Chocolate Factory, Chicago, IL
- Mixed by Serban Ghenea at MixStar Studios, Virginia Beach, VA
- Lead vocals – Whitney Houston & Jordin Sparks
- Composition, Production, Arrangement, Co-mixing, Keyboards & Additional Vocals – R. Kelly
- Vocal Production - Harvey Mason, Jr.
- Guitar - Donnie Lyle
- Bass - Bigg Makk
- Additional Keyboards - Bigg Makk, Rodney East
- Choir - Joan Collaso, Yvonne Gage, Pastor Chris Harris, Mike Harvey, Jeff Morrow, Lauren Pilot Morrow, Robin Robinson
- Recording & Programming - Ian Mereness, Abel Garibaldi
- Vocals Recorded by Andrew Hey at Mason Sound, North Hollywood, CA
- Assisted by Davad Boyd, Micheal Daley & Dabling Harward
- Engineering - John Hanes
- Assistant Engineer - Phil Seaford
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||39|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||26|
|Japan Hot 100||48|
Radio and release history
|Country||Radio or release date||Format||Label|
|United States||May 21, 2012||Radio premiere||RCA Records|
|United States||June 5, 2012||Digital download|
|United States||June 18, 2012||Adult contemporary radio|
- Ballhorn, Kelly (May 21, 2012). "WORLD PREMIERE: Whitney Houston & Jordin Sparks Duet 'Celebrate' From 'Sparkle' [AUDIO]". ryanseacrest.com. Archived from the original on May 21, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Whitney Houston Album & Song Chart History: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (liner notes). Jordin Sparks. RCA Records. 2012.
- "Hot/Modern/AC Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on June 15, 2012.