Whitney Houston may be going on tour in the form of a hologram.
The New York Times reported that Pat Houston, the executor of the late vocalist’s estate signed a deal with music company Primary Wave Music Publishing to rebuild the singer’s business.
Pat Houston, who is also Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law, previously turned down offers for entertainment deals, which ranged from tours to musicals to a traveling museum.
“Everything is about timing for me,” Pat Houston said. “It’s been quite emotional for the past seven years. But now it’s about being strategic.”
The Primary Wave deal will mean the company will acquire 50 percent of the estate’s assets, including Whitney Houston’s name and likeness, as well as royalties from her films, merchandising and music.
The deal will be part of an effort to change the narrative around the vocalist. She died in 2012 in an accidental drowning in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. An autopsy report from the Los Angeles County coroner said the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use” were factors in her death.
“Before she passed, there was so much negativity around the name; it wasn’t about the music anymore,” Pat Houston told The Times. “People had forgotten how great she was. They let all the personal things about her life outweigh why they fell in love with her in the first place.”
Primary Wave’s founder, Larry Mestel, said he is in discussions to create a musical based on Whitney Houston’s music, which would include unreleased songs recorded for her 1985 self-titled debut album.
“Whitney was America’s sweetheart and the idea now is to remind people that that is what her legacy is,” Mestel said.
But the biggest project is a hologram.
“The hologram has taken precedence over everything,” Pat Houston said.
Currently under development, the hologram would be backed by a live band and original back up singers, including Whitney Houston’s brother, Gary, who is Pat Houston’s husband. The Whitney Houston hologram will perform hit singles, including “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “The Greatest Love of All,” The Times reported.
A Whitney Houston hologram was notably in the works for a 2016 episode of NBC’s “The Voice.” Then-coach Christina Aguilera was set to perform a duet with the singer on the show’s season 10 finale, but Pat Houston announced the plans were scrapped after footage of the performance leaked.
“We were looking to deliver a groundbreaking duet performance for the fans of both artists,” Pat Houston said in a statement at the time. “Holograms are new technology that take time to perfect, and we believe with artists of this iconic caliber, it must be perfect. Whitney’s legacy and her devoted fans deserve perfection. After closely viewing the performance, we decided the hologram was not ready to air.”
In 2015, it was reported that Pat Houston teamed up with Hologram USA to organize a hologram tour that would have included special guests.
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