The Pulse of Entertainment - December 23, 2022

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The Pulse of Entertainment: Leon Lacey Helps Make Whitney Houston ‘Sang' Again in the Sony Picture Release


(December 23, 2022) - "You made a grown man cry," composer Leon Lacey said about what the Grammy winning music producer Rodney Jerkins (DarkChild) said about how he composed some of the orchestrated Whitney Houston hits for the bio-movie/musical released December 23, 2022, by Sony Pictures. "He called me and said Clive Davis is doing a movie on Whitney. He sent me tracks of just Whitney singing...said it's the last song of the movie...see what you can do."

The bio-movie/musical Rodney Jerkins was working on is the Clive Davis produced Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody starring Naomi Ackie as Whitney Houston.

"The voice is Whitney," Leon informed me about the film. "Her voice is on job was to make it bigger. This is an epic movie...don't want her voice to be less big."

Oscar nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten brought the rights to Whitney Houston's life. Clive Davis and Whitney's sister and former manager Pat, head of the Whitney Houston estate, produced the project. Jerkins also called on the help of Wyclef Jean for the score for the bio-movie/musical.

"I got called while I was with my wife watching Women King and, in the previews, it was showing the Whitney movie," Leon said when asked. "He (Rodney Jerkins) called me the next morning. Told me he had four or five more songs...and he needed me."

Aside from Ackie playing the role of Whitney, the Clive Davis project also starred Stanley Tucci as Clive her music producer; Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown; Tamara Tunie as Cissy Houston; Nafessa Williams as Robyn Crawford her assistance and friend, and Clarke Peters as John Houston her father. The project is directed by Kasi Lemmons and produced by Denis O'Sullivan, Jeff Kalligheri, McCarten, Pat Houston, Davis, Larry Mestel, Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill, Matt Jackson, Christina Papagjika, and Matthew Salloway. It is a TriStar Pictures, Black Label Media, Primary Wave Entertainment, Muse of Fire Production, TSG Entertainment II, Compelling Pictures, and West Madison Entertainment production.

Lacey was signed to a major recording deal as a teen by Columbia Records.

"It was a pretty big Gospel deal," he told me. "I toured with Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah, and Tye Tribbett. Tye and I did music together so we would often be booked together. Then they brought in Trak Masters, and I got lost."

That was not the end for Leon.

"My dad is an entrepreneur, and my mom had the entrepreneurship spirit though she worked for the post office. So, it's in my blood to keep going," Lacey told me when asked.

Leon continued to do his music and landed work at the Lincoln Center in New York for a concert.

"The Lincoln Center was my first professional orchestra," he said.

He went on to compose music for season four and five of Lena Waithe's Showtime Network series "The Chi"; HBO Network; Infiniti and Buick car commercials; Blair Underwood's thriller Viral; served as musical director on upcoming films starring Wesley Snipes, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and Faison Love; Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra's Yolanda Adams show, and the group 3T, nephews of Michael Jackson. Leon Lacey also served as music editor on the Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

When I asked him what the difference in a music producer and a music editor is, he said, "Both are interchangeable. In this case it means I'm working for the movie network and there is already a music producer. My job is to...pull music samples with when he hears the music there are pictures to give him ideas. The music composer works with the music editor to make sure the music is lined up. He decides what goes in there."

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Dr. Eunice Moseley has an estimated weekly readership of over one million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations and Business Management Strategist and Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore EVENTS: "Uplifting Minds II" Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 24th year. Next events are coming to Baltimore via Zoom Saturday April 15, 2023, presented by Security Square Mall and The Baltimore Times, and Los Angeles via Zoom Saturday, November 11 2023. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference offering a Professional Industry Panel Q&A Session, a Professional Talent Showcase and National Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $17,500 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email

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