Whitney Houston’s estate has revealed plans for a new album from the late singer, as well as a tour featuring her hologram. Estate executor (and sister-in-law to to the performer) Pat Houston told The New York Times that there are potential plans for a touring hologram, a Broadway musical, branding deals and an album of unreleased tracks.
Since the singer’s death in 2012, the estate has held off on any activity, but Houston said now is the time. “Everything is about timing for me,” Houston confirmed. “It’s been quite emotional for the past seven years. But now it’s about being strategic.”
Part of that action is a deal with Primary Wave Music Publishing, which the estate signed last week. Primary Wave will acquire 50 percent of the estate’s assets, including Houston’s royalties from music and film, and merchandising, as well as the right to use her name and likeness. Larry Mestel, the founder of Primary Wave, told The New York Times that he is already in discussions with Broadway producers about a potential musical and a Vegas-style spectacle. A new album could be comprised of unused tracks from Houston’s 1985 self-titled debut album, which are currently owned by Sony.
“Whitney was America’s sweetheart,” Mestel said. “And the idea now is to remind people that that is what her legacy is.”
Mestel also confirmed that Primary Wave will be considerate about which branding deals they pursue. The company plans to be careful how they present the singer, who appeared in commercials for Diet Coke and AT&T during her career. “For Whitney Houston, who had an elegant voice and an elegant way about her, we wouldn’t do a fast-food brand relationship, for example,” Mestel said.
As for the hologram, it’s already in development. The hologram, which has “taken precedence over everything,” would be backed by on tour Houston’s original band and backup singers, who include her brother Gary. It would follow previous holograms of musicians like Frank Zappa, Ronnie James Dio and Roy Orbison.
“Before she passed, there was so much negativity around the name; it wasn’t about the music anymore,” Houston said in the interview of her late sister-in-law. “People had forgotten how great she was. They let all the personal things about her life outweigh why they fell in love with her in the first place.”
In 2016, a hologram was originally meant to debut during an episode of The Voice. The singer was set to duet with Christina Aguilera, but after seeing the footage Houston told ET Online they wanted to pull it. “After closely viewing the performance, we decided the hologram was not ready to air,” the estate executor said. “We have much respect and appreciation for Christina, and she was absolutely flawless.” Leaked footage of the performance revealed that Aguilera was meant to sing two songs with Houston’s hologram, “I Have Nothing” and “I’m Every Woman.”