Hailed internationally as one of the greatest female vocalists of her era, Whitney Houston’s legacy lives on in a new documentary produced by ABC. Superstar: Whitney Houston is the newest special presentation from ABC and the producers behind 20/20. The one-hour special premiered on August 9th, marking what would have been the late singer’s 58th birthday.
The film is part of a broader project known as the Superstar series, described by ABC as providing “unmatched reporting and fresh insight into [popular] icons.” The special features archival interviews from Houston herself, along with interviews from friends and colleagues such as Brandy Norwood, Bebe Winans, Chaka Kahn and Darlene Love. Superstar follows Houston’s life, from her childhood in Newark, New Jersey to her battle with the pressures of the entertainment industry.
In a press release, ABC’s senior executive producer of primetime content, David Sloan, described his hopes for the future of the Superstar series, stating:
“It is exciting to watch the legacy of the 20/20 brand expand, first with Truth and Lies and now with the Superstar series. Our talented team uses the skills they’ve honed from producing two-hour 20/20 programs to provide unmatched reporting and fresh insight into these icons.”
Sloan also spoke to the future of the Superstar series, which is slated to focus on additional stars such as Robin Williams and Kobe Bryant.
“We decided to focus on icons who have tremendously impacted our culture. They have complex backstories, with many layers and perspectives to explore. In this series, we aim to update the current public narrative surrounding each of these celebrities. The light refracts differently through these stories, now that years have passed since we lost them.”
ABC’s special is far from the first of its kind, and is the third documentary to be released about Houston’s life since her untimely passing in 2012. The first documentary, titled Whitney: Can I Be Me? premiered on Showtime in 2017, featuring archival interviews and concert footage to illustrate the singer’s career, family life and internal struggles. The following year in 2018, a second film titled Whitney was produced in collaboration with Houston’s family, which included exclusive interviews from Houston’s mother, older brothers, and long-time assistant. In 2015, a third film under the same title was released by Lifetime. All three films are available for on-demand streaming via Amazon Prime.
Those who missed out on the special’s television premiere can catch Superstar via several streaming options, including fuboTV and Hulu.