There is endless love for Whitney Houston, who died in 2012, but not a Whitney hologram tour.
Pat Houston, the executor of the singer’s estate, told the New York Times that the estate’s first big project, already in development, is a touring hologram of the songstress. It will perform Houston hits, including “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “The Greatest Love of All,” and be backed up by her original band and backup singers, including her half-brother Gary — who is Pat’s husband.
Holograms of deceased performers generally aren’t well-received and this time is no different. Houston fans were quick to slam the idea on Twitter. “Someone trying to get their coins,” wrote one commenter. Another posted: “I LOVE Whitney. Always have/always will. Newly released content? YES. Hologram tour? No.”
Whitney Houston - "there are potential plans for a touring hologram, a Broadway musical, branding deals and an album of unreleased tracks." Someone trying to get their coins! https://t.co/tDZVm6j1K2
— 🧡✨ jose✨🧡 (@orlvgn) May 20, 2019
I LOVE Whitney. Always have/always will. Newly released content? YES. Hologram tour? No. https://t.co/0dsbzceu4G
— Brian (@bpmoynihan) May 20, 2019
I love Whitney and all but really, a hologram tour? I mean... pic.twitter.com/qVl94nFYJn
— Valerie (@Valerie44681572) May 20, 2019
Let me know if ya’ll are going to the Whitney Houston hologram tour, so I can block you.
— Mortgage Freeman (@NotoriousGRC) May 20, 2019
This instance is more complicated because Houston publicly spiraled out of control before she died — drowning in a hotel bathroom with drug paraphernalia scattered about. In her final years, her voice was impacted by her mistreatment of her body. And many feel Houston’s inner circle failed her. (Both Pat, Whitney’s former manager, and Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mom, were name-checked.)
Will it be the cracked-out 'can't hit the notes no more Whitney' or the 1985 ingenue who has no idea what lies in store for her? I mean, this hologram business is WACK! Let this woman rest in peace, Cissy. Tack-E. https://t.co/79CmphABvY
— Handsy J2 (@handsyj2) May 20, 2019
This isn't about Whitney. It's about Pat and Cissy and I am disgusted 😔😒 https://t.co/8MT4OenQq3
— TheMADQueen 😡👑 (@_issaJAE) May 20, 2019
There were a small number of loyalists who said they would go see the show no matter what.
I honestly don’t mind a hologram. I was lucky enough to see Whitney live at radio city music hall in 1993. Still get chills thinking about that concert. Her voice was on fire! I’m looking forward to it!
— Whitneyfan1990 (@Whitneyfan90) May 20, 2019
"You loved Whitney Houston, so you’ll pay to watch a “performance” by a spectral rendering of her that weighs about as much as a melismatic run ..."
Uh, maybe? I really love Whitney. https://t.co/Nx52YSQ7xR
— Allison Bourg Sauntry (@allisonsauntry) May 20, 2019
Houston’s only daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, died in 2015 in an eerily similar manner to her mother. Houston’s ex husband, Bobby Brown, who recently defended her after Chris Rock told a joke about her drug problems, hasn’t publicly commented on the hologram tour.
In Pat’s NYT interview, she said Whitney’s estate has been pitched every kind of entertainment deal, including a traveling museum. She turned down everything prior to the hologram idea. Other projects in the works are an album of unreleased tracks and a possible Broadway musical.
“Everything is about timing for me,” Pat told the NYT. “It’s been quite emotional for the past seven years. But now it’s about being strategic.”
Pat recently signed a deal with Primary Wave Music Publishing to rebuild Whitney Houston’s business, which took a hit amid her public woes, the article notes. As part of this new deal, the company acquires 50 percent of the estate’s assets — and starts profiting for royalties from her music, merchandising and the right to exploit her name and likeness.
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