After a “horrifically terrible, outrageously hard” year, Michael Korte wanted to create something joyful where he could uplift people with music. He turned to Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit to do so. “The film Sister Act 2 has been, since I was a kid, something I turn to when I needed a pick me up,” the producer told POPSUGAR. “It has always been very loyal to me in lifting my spirits and bringing me joy.”
Six months ago, Korte got to work and recruited the help of the industry’s up-and-coming talent for an exuberant medley of the 1993 musical’s greatest hits. “No one would be into us giving this our ‘best shot.’ We needed to do this film justice or not do it at all,” Korte explained. “And I knew there were only a few vocalists who I could trust, that I thought would really pay tribute to the incredible original stars of the film.”
Coco Jones is one performer Korte knew he needed to include. He had the song “His Eye on the Sparrow” (performed in the movie by Lauryn Hill and Tanya Blount) in mind for her specifically. Jones said she felt the weight of responsibility to honor the original. This rendition is her way to express appreciation toward Hill for paving the way. “It’s such an iconic song and Lauryn is herself,” the singer told POPSUGAR. “I look up to Lauryn and other artists of that caliber. I’m just paying tribute, I’m not trying to fill anyone’s shoes.”
Korte, Jones, and the rest of the performers knew they needed to be especially careful to pull off a performance of this scale during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group took precautions to stay safe by practicing virtually and rehearsing only once in-person, at a park outdoors, masked. All of the cast took COVID-19 tests before filming.
After their rendition went live on Dec. 1, it didn’t take long for word to reach Whoopi Goldberg, aka Deloris Van Cartier herself. The View host expressed admiration for the performers and crew behind the scenes. “These voices, these kids — they’re extraordinary,” she said on the morning show. For Korte, this is the ultimate praise. “Whatever a layer beyond mind-blowing is to have an EGOT winner who also happens to be the star of the film speak your name and congratulate everyone in my cast and crew, you know, that’s incredible.”