Whitney Houston talked about her role in the forthcoming movie Sparkle and the death of Aaliyah in the course of an interview with Essence magazine, just weeks before Houston herself passed away. Houston and her Sparkle co-producer Debra Martin Chase originally intended to make Sparkle 11 years with Aaliyah but then the R&B singer was killed in an August 2001 plane crash. “God needed her more,” Houston told Essence. “We were so, so saddened by it. And then 10 years later, to the date, Debra calls me and said, ‘Whitney, you won’t believe this but they want Sparkle.’” Houston, who died Saturday afternoon at the age of 48, appears in the film alongside Jordin Sparks and Mike Epps.