When it was first announced in 2019, there were a myriad of responses to the announcement that Whitney Houston’s estate was in the midst of rolling out a hologram tour.
Many longtime fans of the late legendary songstress were outraged by the venture and felt it as an affront to her legacy. On Wednesday (Feb. 19), British talk show This Morning previewed a snippet of the forthcoming tour ahead of its official premiere, with the first leg of An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour set to kick off February 25 in the United Kingdom. In the clip, Whitney Houston, digitally rendered, is shown performing “Greatest Love of All.”
In conjunction with the unveiling of Whitney’s hologram, Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and longtime manager, spoke to Rolling Stone about her intentions behind the tour during a recent rehearsal in Los Angeles. As previously reported, Houston, who oversees Whitney’s estate, is working with BASE Hologram Productions to bring to fruition what she says was the dream “unplugged-esque” performance Whitney wanted to do but never got the chance. Pat said Whitney had plans to go on tour and perform stripped down versions of her classics before she passed away in 2012.
“It’s a dream that was realized by her. So that’s the production. This isn’t something that we’re just putting together,” Pat told the trade publication. “This is something that she wanted to do, and I get very emotional watching this because it is so close to what she wanted. The only thing missing was her, physically.”
Pat further assured Rolling Stone that the tour is in line with what Whitney would’ve envisioned for herself if she was still here today.
“It’s primarily just paying homage to her legacy. How many times can you just hear the same song over and over? This is a new way to experience the music,” Pat explained. “Realistically, it’s all about the Whitney experience. She preferred doing small shows, and it was something she couldn’t really do when she was alive. People need to understand, no one is trying to recreate our Whitney. This is a show to celebrate her music and introduce her to people who never got to see her live.”
Base Hologram Productions CEO Marty Tudor also revealed the production will include some details to make the show look as real as possible, including multiple costume changes and wetting the Whitney hologram’s hair when rain pours on stage.
“To me, it’s creepy and eerie if you make the artist do something they never would’ve done,” Tudor said. “But if you are authentic and live within the rules of who they were, this is a celebration of her legacy.”
North American dates for the tour are expected to be announced at a later date, but the snippet did little to appease fans who were displeased with the hologram performance.
“Whitney Houston hologram on This Morning. Looks nothing like her, and doesn’t look at all real,” one fan remarked on Twitter. “Just looks like a big TV screen playing a slightly laggy video of a lookalike.”
“I am completely disappointed and heartbroken that her family would allow this hologram tour to take place,” a second person chimed in. “I hope no one goes to see it. It’s downright disrespectful to her legacy!”
See what else fans had to say about the hologram tour below.