The FINANCIAL – Whitney Houston, who died in 2012 at the age of 48, is the latest celeb to get the hologram treatment. The show is the result of five years of discussion. The company behind this tour also wants to produce a concert tour to celebrate Amy Winehouse’s legacy.
While Houston has been dead for eight years, the creators behind the singer’s hologram tour are looking to give a new tour experience to her audience. “An Evening With Whitney” was designed with Whitney’s image in mind, Pat Houston, the singer’s former manager and head of the Whitney Houston estate, said. Whitney planned on giving a more intimate, unplugged-esque tour before she died. And while that never took place when she was alive, the production team behind the hologram has ensured her vision will happen posthumously, Rolling Stone reported.
Holographic Houston will embark on a European tour that starts in England on Feb. 25 and runs through early April, with U.S. dates expected to follow. The concert set includes most of her biggest hits — “How Will I Know,” “Saving All My Love For You,” “I Will Always Love You,” along with some unexpected rarities, including a cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” that Houston first recorded three decades ago. The show, which was first conceived five years ago, used a body double along with hundreds of hours of Houston performances and extensive CGI synthesizing, according to The New York Times.
The upcoming shows will be staged by Base Entertainment, who were behind the hologram shows of Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison. The company is also tipped to produce a hologram tour on the late Amy Winehouse, Yahoo News wrote.
While on her final European tour, Whitney had an “unplugged” section of her show, with a stripped down band and minimal fanfare. Houston liked that so much that shortly before her death at age 48 on the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards, she expressed a desire to one day do an entire tour that way. That concept became the model for the hologram concert. Dressing the Houston hologram provided its own set of problems and possibilities. “The first thing is, you can’t do black,” Timothy Snell, who oversaw the wardrobe for the show, said with a mock gasp. “And black and sparkles are your first go-to. But Whitney also loved color.” Along with the gold gown, her outfits include a shimmering orange jumpsuit and a floor-length pink flowered coat, according to KTVU Fox 2.
Pat Houston, the pop star’s sister-in-law, former manager and now president and chief executive officer of her estate said in a statement last year, “Whitney prided herself on her family and that included her fans.” “She adored her audiences and that’s why we know she would have loved this holographic theatrical concept,” Pat Houston said. “An event at this level is something special and Base Hologram’s track record to be fully authentic and respectful made them the perfect partner. This upcoming tour will allow audiences to experience Whitney’s amazing voice and passion for music for a long time to come and help them share that magic with future generations,” CNN.
The show is the result of five years of discussion, Base Hologram Productions CEO Marty Tudor said. Once the project got off the ground, it took another year to make it. While more hologram tours have sparked up in recent years, some critics are still quick to label the idea exploitative or creepy. But the Houston shows suggests that what seemed like one-off gimmicks when a virtual Tupac Shakur joined Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at Coachella may still become a mainstream entertainment medium, Rolling Stone wrote.