Whitney Houston Is ‘Going On Tour’ But Are Hologram Tours Ethical?

The hologram made its UK debut on This Morning, but viewers were divided.

whitney houston

by Bonnie McLaren |
Updated on

Whitney Houston is going on tour. No, wait - sadly, she isn’t - but her hologram is. Eight years after her death, a holographic Whitney will embark on a European tour that starts in England on February 25 and runs through until early April.

To coincide with the tour, her hologram made a guest appearance on This Morning today_._ Hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes said it was like being in the studio with the late singer. Others, on social media, weren’t so sure, with people calling it ‘creepy’. And some noted the irony, as the hologram sang The Greatest Love Of All, which includes the line ‘can't take away my dignity’.

Whitney’s family, however, fully approve of the tour - with the late singer’s step-sister Pat telling the presenters that it’s a continuation of her legacy. She added that it's been a ‘long process’ for the company responsible for the tour, Base Hologram. (The idea was conceived five years ago - and a body double has been used along with hundreds of hours of Houston performances and extensive CGI synthesizing.)

The same company is also responsible for the controversial Amy Winehouse hologram. Again, this was another idea fully supported by the singer’s estate, with dad Mitch Winehouse insisting the tour will raise money and awareness for the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which educates young people about drug and alcohol misuse. It has since been postponed, due to ‘some unique challenges and sensitivities’.

Hologram tours might be big business - but they’re always going to be contentious. While some - and in these cases, the families, too - see it as a way for a star’s legacy to live on and fans to catch their idol from beyond the grave, others see it is as exploiting death (in tragic circumstances) for money, in the sake of entertainment. You can hardly rest in peace if you’re performing at the Bournemouth International Centre one night, and the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff the next. And when performing was somebody’s life, you can't help but think about how would they feel about having no creative input whatsoever?

Last year,Black Mirror parodied the hologram idea, as Miley Cyrus’ popstar character Ashley O was placed in a coma, only for her aunt to announce in a global conference that Ashley O, the hologram, was going on tour. If it’s dark enough to appear in a Black Mirror episode, then maybe it's a sign that it's a little creepy, and maybe not entirely ethically right.

It's yet to be seen how many people are going to be singing along to I Wanna Dance With Somebody when the tour starts next week - but no doubt future tours will be decided by just how well attended ‘Whitney’s is.

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