Deborah Cox attends the "Gigi" Broadway Opening Night at Neil Simon Theatre on April 8, 2015 in New York City. The singer and actress will lead the musical adaptation of "The Bodyguard" starring in the role her friend Whitney Houston originated. Getty Images

Actress Deborah Cox plans to honor the memory of her friend and mentor Whitney Houston with the announcement of the U.S. tour of the musical adaptation of “The Bodyguard.” The actress and singer will play the lead role Houston originated in the 1992 movie. In a recent interview, Cox remembered Houston “was like a big sister” when the two worked together.

Cox spoke about her personal connection to the music legend when the pair recorded the single “Same Script, Different Cast” in 2000. “We had some really great, in-depth conversations about a lot of different things — having a family, keeping balance in my life — these are all gold nuggets of wisdom that she imparted and took the time to really [share] within her crazy schedule,” she revealed to Playbill.

“The Bodyguard” was Whitney Houston’s most iconic role on film, and the musical adaptation serves as a tribute to her body of work. In addition to the award-winning movie soundtrack, the show also features many of her greatest hits including "So Emotional," "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." Cox told Billboard last year that she was grateful for the chance to study with Whitney Houston. “Her style helped me understand the kind of artist I wanted to be.”

This isn’t the first time Cox has brought Whitney Houston’s music to life. The singer re-recorded Houston’s vocals for the controversial biopic “Whitney.” She defended the movie despite the Houston family’s steely reception.

"I really just wanted to honor her and this was a way to do that," she explained. "I've always loved her music so it was a great tribute."

“The Bodyguard” is scheduled to begin touring the U.S. in fall 2016. The show concluded a successful run in London’s West End in 2014 and earned four Laurence Olivier award nominations during its run. “The Bodyguard” is currently touring the U.K. and Ireland.