The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour Looks Like the Greatest Flub of All

"An Evening with Whitney" kicks off in the U.K. on Tuesday—whether we want it to or not.

Well, it’s actually happening. The long-threatened Whitney Houston hologram tour kicks off on February 25 in the United Kingdom and will haunt Europe through April 1. The Houston hologram will be backed by real-life human singers and dancers as well as a live band—plus, in addition to singing Houston’s greatest hits, it will also banter with the audience….
 

Adding fuel to this already questionable fire, new footage of the diva’s digital doppelgänger has Whitney fans comparing it to a malfunctioning Sims character.

They’re not…wrong.

But Houston’s family thinks this Black-Mirror-episode-waiting-to-happen is a fitting tribute to the chanteuse known simply as The Voice.

“She adored her audiences and that’s why we know she would have loved this holographic theatrical concept,” says Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law, former manager, and executor of her estate. “An event at this level is something special and Base Hologram’s track record to be fully authentic and respectful made them the perfect partner. This upcoming tour will allow audiences to experience Whitney’s amazing voice and passion for music for a long time to come and help them share that magic with future generations.”

If you say so, Pat. Still, the whole thing feels rather…icky. Icky, exploitative, and kinda tacky. It’s like, after Whitney Houston gave us everything, people are still trying to take from her and profit off of her. She left behind one of the most wondrous catalogs in pop music history—shouldn’t that be enough?

“This is an artist who spent some time in her career in the throes of substance abuse, did not always seem in control of her image, or her sound, or her finances,” says NPR’s Jason King. “And so now there is this potential that she’s being exploited all over again. Or is she being celebrated all over again? I think it’s a very fine line.”

A line that will be crossed when An Evening with Whitney ghoulishly wafts into stadiums across Europe and eventually the rest of the world. But King also points out that this will likely become more and more commonplace—these dead stars being figuratively dug out of their graves and paraded about in digital form.

Exploitation or celebration, it seems this is just what we’re doing.

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is an LA-based writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He's formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat