On Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, following a very bright and successful music career, as well as a long struggle with drug abuse and addiction, world-famous artist Whitney Houston passed away at the young age of 48. In a statement released the following day, Sony Music Entertainment remembered Houston as an “icon and a once-in-a-lifetime talent who inspired a generation of singers and brought joy to millions of fans around the world. She had a voice of unmatched beauty and power that changed music forever, and she leaves behind an indelible legacy of timeless songs that will never be forgotten.”
In addition to her songs, Houston is also known for her starring role in the 1992 film, “The Bodyguard,” in which she plays a famous singer who falls in love with her bodyguard (Kevin Kostner). Houston’s untimely death has spurred action to turn “The Bodyguard” into a musical.
The stage version of “The Bodyguard” was already in progress months before Houston’s passing. A workshop for the upcoming musical took place this past summer, and another was scheduled to take place in January 2012.
The musical, with co-producers Michael Harrison and David Ian, and Thea Sharrock directing, will star Broadway’s Heather Headley as Houston’s character, Rachel Marron. Headley’s past credits include Nala in “The Lion King” and the title role in “Aida,” for which she won the 2000 Tony Award.
According to Playbill.com, after being offered the role of Rachel, a very excited Headley posted to her Facebook page, “the music’s great — very challenging but great. We’ll start on the West End in London and then we’ll move to Broadway (if all goes well — I think it will).”
According to The (U.K.) Daily Mail the stage version of “The Bodyguard” won’t just be repeating the film. Though the plotline is the same as the film, with former secret service agent, Frank Farmer, becoming a bodyguard for the famous pop star, Rachel Marron, and the two falling in love, playwright Alex Dinelarius created a work that is not a word-for-word copy, and will include not only the music from the film, but multiple Whitney Houston works as well.
The musical will feature all the beloved songs from the 1992 film’s record-breaking soundtrack, which is one of the top 10 biggest selling albums of all time. The musical soundtrack features Houston’s version of Dolly Parton’s classic “I Will Always Love You,” “I Have Nothing,” and “Run to You.” In tribute to Houston’s successful music career, the show will also include many of Houston’s other well-known songs including, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and “How Will I Know.”
Following Houston’s unexpected death, interest for the upcoming musical is growing.