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Tour Promoter Seeks to Revive Whitney Houston Hologram Deal

Variety logo Variety 7/11/2017 Gene Maddaus
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Whitney Houston’s estate announced in 2015 that the late singer would be making a comeback, in the form of a hologram show that would tour the country.

It seemed like a brave new world for the idea of live performance, and a major new revenue source for deceased artists. The Houston hologram was set to debut last year on NBC’s “The Voice,” but the estate pulled the plug at the last minute, saying the technology wasn’t ready for primetime.

Now the hologram company, Hologram USA, is taking the estate to court. In a lawsuit filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Hologram USA contends that the estate had no right to terminate the licensing agreement.

The suit states that Martin Singer, the estate’s attorney, sent a letter on Dec. 9, 2016, alleging that Hologram USA had breached the agreement by failing to deliver a sufficiently lifelike holographic representation of Houston. The letter also accused the company of leaking video of the hologram to TMZ.

Hologram USA has tried several times to revive the deal, with its attorneys asserting that the company did not breach the agreement and offering to sort out any miscommunication. Singer has not responded to those entreaties.

The company is now asking a judge to issue a declaration stating that it didn’t breach the licensing agreement, and that the estate has failed to abide by their contract by wrongfully withholding approval of the holographic images.

Hologram USA continues to promote a 2017 tour of Houston’s hologram on its website.

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