Music legend Dionne Warwick did not hold back when she was asked about a Whitney Houston touring hologram, calling the idea "stupid."
"I haven't a clue as to what that is. It's surprising to me," Warwick, 78, told Entertainment Tonight Thursday at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's 1st Annual Second Chance Digital Impact Recipient Awards in Washington, D.C. when asked about the idea of a hologram of her late cousin going on tour.
She continued, "I don't know what it is. I think it's stupid, but whatever it is that's what it is."
Warwick was asked about the hologram after Houston's sister-in-law and former manager, Pat Houston, spoke with The New York Times about keeping the legendary singer's legacy alive in the years since her 2012 death at the age of 48. The interview was timed with the estate's decision to grant Primary Wave Music Publishing half of its assets and be given permission to use Houston's name and likeness. The deal was reportedly worth $14 million.
"Everything is about timing for me," Pat, who is now the executive of Houston's estate, told The Times. "It's been quite emotional for the past seven years. But now it's about being strategic."
Pat said creating a hologram of Houston that could perform some of her biggest hits has "taken precedence over everything."
The hologram will be created by BASE Hologram, the firm behind the Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly and Maria Callas holograms. Houston's will perform to the original master recordings of her vocals. It will be joined on stage by a live band and backup singers. Choreographer and music video director Fatima Robinson was hired as the creative director.
"Each step of the way, on every decision, Pat Houston and the estate are side by side with us," BASE Hologram CEO Brian Becker told Billboard. "We're in the studio now on the set shooting. It's very important for us to have their input. They take this responsibility very seriously, as do we. It's great to collaborate with them."
Becker later explained, "We've been working on this for quite a while with Pat and Fatima. You want to be authentic and you also want to be interpretive. You want to be respectful and celebratory, and it's good to have a couple sets of eyes to make sure you're doing that within the context of what represents the artist best."
The show is titled "An Evening with Whitney" and is expected to head out on tour next year.
Primary Wave is also putting together a posthumous Houston album made up of outtakes from her self-titled 1985 album. The album will be out by the end of the year or early 2020, reports NPR.
Since Houston's death in 2012, the estate has only released a handful of posthumous projects.
Her definitive greatest hits compilation, I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston, was released in late 2012, and Sony released the live album Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances in 2014. I Wish You Love: More from The Bodyguard was released in 2017. She was also the subject of the Grammy-nominated documentary Whitney last year.
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