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Emma Anderson (Whitney Houston) did not want her daughters Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Delores "Dee" (Tika Sumpter), and Tammy "Sister" (Carmen Ejogo) to make the same mistakes she did pursuing a musical career that led to drugs, alcohol, and teenage motherhood. As an overprotective single mom, she looks to keep them from stardom and bad boys by raising them with strict Christian principles and keeping a close eye on their activities. Despite Emma's hovering, the girls assemble a group and wow the crowds with Sister's sexy rendition of “Giving Him Something He Can Feel." They enjoy newfound stardom in the Detroit club scene before their mother has even realized they’ve been sneaking out every night. The group has more success, even opening for Aretha Franklin on a television show and engaging in talks about a record deal with Columbia Records. However, Dee and Sparkle find out about Sister’s abusive relationship with local celebrity Satin Struthers (Mike Epps).After the abuse comes to a tragic end, the girls split up and Sparkle must overcome her fears of stage fright to chase her dream and ultimately become the star she was destined to be.