Deborah Cox To Voice Whitney Houston Songs In Lifetime Biopic

Published: Wednesday 16th Jul 2014 by Sam

Lifetime‘s biopic on the late, great Whitney Houston hasn’t even hit screens yet and is already causing quite the scene.

Indeed, debate has greeted almost every morsel of news revealed about the movie; from it being a cable production instead of a big screen offering, to its lead stars, public response has been potently polarized.

The latest facet of the Angela Bassett directed telepic to come into question is the licensing of Houston’s music.

According to E!, with legalities surrounding the use of Whitney’s iconic song catalogue still being hashed out, original versions of the tracks will not feature. Instead, Yaya DaCosta – who has been cast as Houston – will “lip-synch” to re-recorded takes on the songs performed by none other than Deborah Cox.

Details below…

Much like Bassett’s turn as Tina Turner in the critically acclaimed ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ biopic, DaCosta won’t sing in the film herself. Rather, she will “perform” specially provided “vocal tracks” by Cox.

Tentatively titled ‘Whitney‘, the movie – which focusses on the tumultuous relationship between the singer and ex-husband Bobby Brown – is set to debut in 2015. {Source I / Source II}


What a fine choice the producers picked in Deborah! A dynamite singer in her own right, she is more than equipped to deliver stellar renditions of Houston’s many hits.

Need convincing? Take a listen to her critically praised duet with Whitney on ‘Same Script, Different Cast’ (lifted from 1998’s ‘My Love Is Your Love’ album). It’s one of our all-time favourites:

Your thoughts?

Comments 26

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  1. Beyonce, Tina, Patti, Monica and Whitney Fan July 16, 2014

    Same Script, Different Cast was actually off of Whitney’s ‘Greatest Hits’ album. It was not featured on ‘My Love is Your Love’.

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  2. Kisses Down Low July 16, 2014

    Nooo. It would have been better with the original.

  3. S****** Blonde July 16, 2014

    Whitney deserves a real film dedicated to her life and career, something like Selena, someone who plays her while using Whitney’s real voice.

    • JOHNVIDAL July 17, 2014

      Nothing but the truth. And if you can´t do it for whatever reason, just don´t do it.

  4. Brian310 July 16, 2014

    I don’t understand how your going to do a movie about someone’s life but not use what the world knew her for(her VOICE).

    • shaquinisha-rose July 17, 2014

      $$$$$$$$ – WAY too expensive. They did the same for ‘Celine’.

  5. Shaan July 16, 2014

    I love me some Deborah but she’s just a water’d down version of Whitney in her heydays.Can’t wait for the movie tho

    • Anne July 16, 2014

      I don’t agree with that description. Deborah’s voice was (I don’t know about now) too strong to be considered a watered-down version of anything. She just doesn’t have the same tone and clarity as Whitney. There was something special about Whitney’s tone that was perfect for carrying a note in my opinion. I’m sure Deborah will do fine but it won’t be the same which will be a distraction. This is bad news.

  6. Jamie July 16, 2014

    Not sure why not the original, but I’m not mad at D. C**. She has a pretty similar tone to Whitney’s. Peep “Did You Ever Love Me”.

  7. Teflon Boy July 16, 2014

    @Brian310 I couldn’t agree more. It seems these producers are so keen to get their little film out there they would rather cut integral corners rather than simply wait until all the necessary pieces are in place. Sorry but a film about Whitney Houston that doesn’t even feature her voice, correction The Voice is beyond absurb. Whitney’s story is about more than Bobby. Additionally, I have nothing against Yaya but how about an actress with serious chops get the role? Whitney, arguably one of the biggest African American stars after MJ, deserves a ‘Ray’ style biopic not some tacky TV movie.

  8. Timago July 16, 2014

    I never knew!!!!

  9. Anne July 16, 2014

    SAM, How can you be positive/optimistic about this?! This is bad news no matter how you slice it. Whitney was/is THE VOICE. Deborah is an extremely talented vocalist but no one can sing Whitney’s songs better than Whitney at her peak. This movie will most likely be disappointing but I will watch anyway and give it a chance. Really wish they could have used the original studio recordings

    SAM, How can you be positive/optimistic about this?! This is bad news no matter how you slice it. Deborah is an extremely talented vocalist but NO ONE can sing Whitney’s songs like Whitney at her peak! She was/is ‘THE VOICE’ period. How can another voice stand in for ‘THE VOICE’? Makes no sense. I wish they could have used the original studio recordings. This movie will most likely be disappointing but I will watch it anyway and give it a chance. Still better than no Whitney movie at all.

  10. Casual-T July 16, 2014

    This makes no sense. Whitney left tons of released singles and recorded live performances to use.

  11. royalkev July 16, 2014

    I’m not pleased with this news at all! Having a film that doesn’t feature Whitney’s voice defeats the entire purpose of doing a ‘Whitney’ biopic. The fans are being cheated out of the musical experience that they deserve. To me, no VOICE = no movie! That’s the REAL story line, claim to fame and most significant factor concerning Whit’s career. This is just another reason why I’m still questioning the motives behind making this movie. Whitney’s artistry shouldn’t be taking a back seat to an entire movie dedicated to her life with Bobby. I don’t have anything against Deborah or Yaya, but I just wish this project was in the care of someone truly interested in honoring Whit’s talent.

  12. Anne July 16, 2014

    Okay, so I take my comments back (@SAM). I’ve changed my mind after watching the video account of this story on E! Online where the male host explained how it would be weird to hear Whitney’s voice coming out of Yaya’s mouth. I agree with that assessment. I now agree that it would be better to use a voice that is beautiful but a bit more generic. Whitney’s voice was so distinctively Whitney that it may seem weird to watch someone else ‘perform’ her voice. Maybe using C**’s voice will be better for the movie after all. I just hope it has a strong script and I hope Yaya’s acting skills are up to par so that she can capture Whitney’s personality and essence.

  13. Gregg July 16, 2014

    Im losing more and more interest each time something new is released…..i truly just dont want to see this tv special made if its not going to be top notch..

  14. IStanForYourFav July 16, 2014

    So you’re doing a film about someone using someone else’s voice??… No comment. Deborah can blow no doubt, but with prime Whitney being held in such high regards, I don’t think she’ll be happy with the back lash she’s about to receive. Personally Cece Winans can blow anything out of the water, so if you had to use anyone’s voice besides Whitney, why not hers? Oh I’ll tell you why, it’s because Cece knows this all is some b*******

  15. Blue July 17, 2014

    Point is they couldnt use the original music because whoever owns the right was being a d*** about it so they did what they could and got someone whitney herself must have signed off at one point for them to do a duet together.

  16. Blue July 17, 2014

    And i hardly doubt mrs basset would cast anyone who isnt able to carry the role. And about people going on about how her life was more then bobby, tina’s was more then i.turner but at he end of the day thats the story people wanna see.

  17. Dossome July 17, 2014

    I don’t think i want to watch a movie based on Whitney and Bobby’s marriage.Would Whitney endorse a film based on the lowest points of her personal life as well as career?

    • JOHNVIDAL July 17, 2014

      Exactly! It´s a disgrace.

  18. shaquinisha-rose July 17, 2014

    Why does this come as a surprise? There is no way they would be able to afford to pay for the rights to use whitney’s voice, or the original music. This is a Lifetime movie. They did the same thing with the Celine Dion Biopic, and it was annoyingly distracting but at least Deborah C** sounds quite similar to Whitney…

  19. JOHNVIDAL July 17, 2014

    Why are they doing this movie at all???????
    Now that they won´t use Whitney´s voice because they can´t afford it… and if it´s true it is based on Whitney´s marriage… we know it will be useless. When you can´t do a person´s life justice (especially now that it´s so soon), why the hell do you do it? Seriously! Whitney is her VOICE and TALENT and unprecedent SUCCESS. A thing that happened way before Bobby (and after him too, but you know what I mean). This is an awful idea. So disrespectful.

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