The late Whitney Houston will return to the international stage next year — in “hologram” form. An entire world tour is planned for a projection of the former pop Diva, which will include both ‘live components’ from the singer’s past performances, as well as scripted components and a ‘narrative structure,’ according to Billboard. Hologram USA, helmed by Alki David, is collaborating with Whitney Houston Estate president Pat Houston to “bring back” the former superstar.
“It’s a great opportunity for her fans to see a reinvention of one the most celebrated female artists in history,” said David in a statement. “And to continue a legacy of performances that will not be forgotten in years to come.”
While not technically a hologram, Hologram USA will use a “high-tech version” of the 16th century illusion technique called Pepper’s Ghost, which will combine its typical foil and glass structure with “a patented blend of computer generated images (CGI), moving parts and audio material,” according to the BBC. Past “performances” at the Grammy Awards for the band Gorillaz, as well as rapper Tupac Shakur’s appearance alongside Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre were created using similar techniques.
David emphasized to Billboard that authenticity will be key for the performances. “The musical arrangement, the choreography right down to the lighting and the design will be done with the original artists and original technicians and composers who worked with Whitney in the past so as to maintain absolute authenticity.”
The show will be exclusively streamed online via David’s FilmOn.com platform, and on TV through Dutch-based media company Ednemol. David said his company is also working on holographic shows for Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, and Liberace.
Houston’s death in February 2012 was officially ruled as an accidental drowning in the hotel bath tub. Best known for songs like I Will Always Love You, and I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me), Houston is one of pop music’s all-time best-sellers. In addition to Houston’s seven albums, she starred in popular films like Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife before her storied career was cut short.