Whitney Houston fans have slammed an upcoming hologram tour that plans to project a digitised version of the late singer on stage for being “ghoulish,” “creepy,” and “utterly disrespectful”.
The show - which is being produced by Base Hologram with support from Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law who now runs her estate - is scheduled to start in Liverpool in February 2020. It will reportedly run into the autumn months, eventually wrapping in North America.
When the news was confirmed earlier this week, many took to social media to criticise the event. On the official Instagram announcement, one follower replied: “Seriously distasteful, let her rest, desperate or what...”
“Nope nope nope. I'm a diehard Whitney fan and am old enough and fortunate enough to have seen her in concert twice - the Moment of Truth and I'm Your Baby Tonight tours,” a second chimed in.
“No hologram, no matter how well-crafted, will be able to match the magic that was Whitney Houston and the energy and soul she shared on stage with her audiences. This is all about $. I feel for the fans who weren't able to see her in concert and I understand how they would be drawn to this, but it's a hard pass for me.”
Another wrote: “Omg don't know how I feel about this. On one end...it will sure be powerful and emotional. But at the same time......i just feel like we should respect her being gone and not mess with her greatness [sic].”
Someone even admitted to have gone to a hologram concert before and finding the experience unsettling because it felt "like watching the ghost of a person perform".
“You know damn well Whitney wouldn’t want people paying to see a projection to fill her families pockets,” a third added, while another said: “I think there’s something awfully sick about making money off of someone who is no longer with us.”
Houston died on 11 February 2012, having been found unconscious in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel earlier that day. Over a month later, it was revealed that the cause of death was drowning and the "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use."
Reactions to the tour on Twitter were just as condemning, with people calling it “shameful” and “ethically depraved.”
Speaking about the event previously, Base Hologram CEO of production Marty Tudor assured fans each show would be “100% authentic.”
He continued: “We are privileged to have been entrusted with this responsibility and hope audiences are able to come, enjoy and get lost in the music of the industry’s most talented performers.”