Houston hired Gary Catona to help plot her comeback following a period of prolonged drug abuse. He admits she was not ready to return to the studio – or the film set – when she signed on for her last film.
“When I first started working with her in 2005, she had lost 99.9 per cent of her voice. She could barely speak, let alone sing,” he tells the New York Post. “Her lifestyle choices had made her almost completely hoarse… She was not a disciplined person in her personal life, and, away from our sessions, she was under the influence of so many forces. She allowed other people to control her.”
Catona said Houston made a lot of progress, but it still wasn’t up to his gold standard when filming began, and he hates the thought of her legacy being anything less than her personal best.
“If we’d been given the proper amount of time, we would have got her voice back to 95 per cent of where she once was,” he said. “She went out and performed when she was nowhere near ready. I don’t think I can watch Sparkle, as seeing her performing below what I know she is capable of is too upsetting.”