Granted, Whitney Houston is one of the most well-known musicians in recent memory and her hits like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “I Will Always Love You” are legendary—generations to come will continue belting them out in cars, showers, and on dance floors. But is Houston’s legacy appeal so strong that fans would go out to see a holographic performance of the late singer?
Somebody sure thinks so: As reported by Rolling Stone, the Whitney Houston holograph tour kicks off on January 23 in Mexico, and will hit cities such as Liverpool, Amsterdam, and Stockholm. The tour, billed as “An Evening With Whitney,” will last until April, and includes a live band, backup singers, and dancers performing along to the projection of Houston on stage. BASE Hologram is producing the event, and if you’re wondering what it’ll look like, videos on their site give a bit of a hint. The company has also produced shows featuring Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison, and another with opera singer Maria Callas.
“Odd” is one word to describe posthumous performances of popular artists. But many are also pointing to the hologram tour as an insensitive exploitation of the dead singer, using her memory as a gross capitalistic endeavor.
Pat Houston is Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law and executor of her estate. In a statement reported by Rolling Stone, Houston said, “Whitney is not with us, but her music will live with us forever… Her fans deserve nothing less because she gave nothing less than her best.” To feed these apparent fan needs, Houston also recently released a remix of a long-lost cover Houston did of “Higher Love.” The song was the first of more to come, including a whole album of new material, maybe a Broadway musical, and “branding deals” like the hologram tour. We can see where fans who still miss Houston may be tempted to check out this fabricated experience (in a world where VR exists)—but the whole thing still comes off as creepy.