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    Jordin Sparks: Working With Whitney Houston a "Gift" and "Honor"

    Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Sparkle Alicia Gbur/Sony

    Being able to work with her idol Whitney Houston on what tragically turned out to be her final film is an experience Jordin Sparks with neither forget nor stop being grateful for.

    While speaking to the assembled star-filled crowd at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon yesterday, the onetime American Idol winner again touched on the special time she spent with Whitney and the lasting impact their working together had.

    MORE: Whitney's casket photo fallout: What does the funeral home have to say?

    "The first day she got [to the set] she's scolding me, and I'm thinking, this is the best day ever," she said of their time on Sparkle. "She went from being this unreachable supernova pop star to my costar, friend and someone who was like a mentor to me. It was a gift and an honor to play opposite Whitney Houston in the film."

    Sparks continued the praise while speaking to the hosting magazine before the event.

    "I got the amazing honor to stand face-to-face with her," she said. "I have amazing memories that I got to cherish. I didn't know her very long. It was two months. It was 12 hour days for two months. You get really close when you're in that kind of setting. She was so motherly and so kind and so hilarious. She was so funny. She would burst out with stories and jokes."

    MORE: Whitney remembered by Sparkle producer

    And a true joy both on and off the set.

    "Every day when she came in she was so happy and so joyous to be there," she told Essence on the red carpet. "She would walk in and say, 'How are my babies today? My babies good? God is good!' Every morning she came in like that."

    In addition to her speech, Sparks also honored her late costar with a special song tribute and took to the stage in front of the the crowd, among whom were Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Kerry Washington and Octavia Spencer, to sing "Look Into Your Heart," one of her standout songs from the upcoming film.

    Whitney's final film is due out in August.

    PHOTOS: Whitney Houston Funeral: Farewell to a Diva

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