The money will go to her foundation, but is the tour really in the 'Back to Black' chanteuse's best interest?
- Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 at the age of 27.
- Los Angeles company BASE Hologram is set to put the show together, with a reported tour next year...
- ... but many of her fans aren't happy with the news.
Singer Amy Winehouse is to go back on tour in 2019, eight years after she passed away at the age of 27, thanks to technology that was in its nascent stages at the time of her death.
BASE Hologram, the company behind the upcoming Roy Orbison hologram tour and the Billie Holiday hologram currently performing daily at the Hologram USA Museum in Los Angeles, is putting together the Amy Winehouse tour to benefit the Winehouse Foundation.
Winehouse is the latest deceased star to get the hologram treatment. Back in 2012, Tupac performed alongside Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg at Coachella thanks to the work of a company called Digital Domain. The only thing is, though: that hologram wasn't really a hologram... more an update on a very old stage trick using mirrors.
Comedians Andy Kaufman and Redd Foxx have been rumored since 2015 to go on tour, although it hasn't yet come to pass. Even popular gorilla Harambe was set to become a hologram at one point in time. That, too, hasn't happened yet.
ABBA are also purported to receive the hologram treatment, with Benny Andersson saying in 2016 that:
"We're inspired by the limitless possibilities of what the future holds and are loving being a part of creating something new and dramatic here. A time machine that captures the essence of who we were. And are."
Swedish band ABBA.
Photo: OLLE LINDEBORG/AFP/Getty Images
It's worth mentioning that toward the end of her life, Winehouse was consumed by alcohol addiction and her live shows became chaotic. It became a popular topic for jokes both stateside and back in her native U.K., which increased her usage, which ultimately led to her death of alcohol poisoning at just 27.
Why mention this? Well, the way she died is quite a delicate subject, especially among her fans, i.e. how do you present or protect her legacy?
Indeed, Winehouse was one of the most prismatic performers of the 00s and from a sheer production standpoint alone, the idea of capturing her persona seems limiting from the outset. Do you show 2008 Amy in her "prime" performing all the hits or do you show her having a ton of fun doing a slightly silly cover of Toots & The Mayals 'Monkey Man'? This is, after all, the same woman who had a blast being extremely honest and in the moment (slightly NSFW). How do you capture that?
So while it remains to be seen exactly what the show will be like, her fans aren't exactly happy about the news.
British music publication NME rounded up some responses from fans angered by the idea of a holographic Winehouse performing for a reported three years, saying, among other things, "let her rest." Many, many more fans have echoed similar sentiments.
And while the Winehouse Foundation is doing a lot of good in the world, it is still run by Amy's father, Mitch Winehouse. I highly recommend the 2015 documentary Amy if you're interested in learning more about her, particularly the last year of her life, and specifically her relationship with her father.
Mitch was quoted as saying:
"Our daughter's music touched the lives of millions of people and it means everything that her legacy will continue in this innovative and groundbreaking way."
Tickets haven't been made available, but expect updates on BASE Hologram's Amy portal.
Get ready for images projected in mid-air to start appearing in the next few years.
According to pop culture, weren't there supposed to be more holograms by now? The 1970s and '80s were full of holographic wishes. Back to the Future II told us that we'd have holographic movie trailers. A major Star Wars plot point involved a holographic Princess Leia. Even erstwhile cartoon pop star Jem's backup band was called The Holograms. But in the 30+ years that your correspondent here has been alive — with the exception of a quasi-holographic Tupac Shakur at Coachella 2012 — we've been stuck with either tacky 2D holograms or projections onto gauze.
Until now. Brigham Young University is developing a technology called an Optical Trap Display that will allow projected object to exist in real space. To do so, the base releases a tiny opaque particle into the air and moves the particle in a predetermined path, illuminating it with a laser. If the particle moves faster than a certain speed, it gives the illusion of a solid object. If you speed the particle up even further, it creates the illusion of movement. >Still confused? Me too, and I'm the guy writing this. One easy way to visualize this process is to think about how a 3D printer scans an object and "draws" the outline. Try to imagine a single opaque particle doing all the work, and you have the basic idea behind the technology.
Image c/o Nature Journal
The good news? The tech is a lot more affordable than the elaborate set-up that bankrupted the Tupac hologram technology. The bad news? Right now, Brigham Young's holograms are about as big as your fingernail, according to Gizmodo.
This is still incredible news for futurists. Once this OTD technology progresses, perhaps we'll be able to see Blade Runner: 2049-style projections right on time in 2049.