File this under things no one expected as Amy Winehouse will be returning to the stage as a hologram in 2019. The singer passed away from accidental alcohol poisoning in July 2011 at the age of 27.
Base Hologram teamed up with Winehouse’s estate to launch a worldwide tour in 2019, according to Billboard. The production will recreate Winehouse onstage, featuring remastered arrangements of her classic tracks. The hologram will have backing by backup vocalists, a full band and stage theatrics.
“This is a dream for us,” Amy’s father Mitch Winehouse says in a statement. ”To see her perform again is something special that really can’t be put into words. 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.”
The Amy Winehouse foundation launched Sept. 14, 2011, which would’ve been Winehouse’s 28th birthday, as a way to keep Winehouse’s memory alive.
“Amy was passionate about helping young people, and fully understood the problems that many of them face,” the site reads. “The Amy Winehouse Foundation works to prevent the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people. We also aim to support, inform and inspire vulnerable and disadvantaged young people to help them reach their full potential.”
News of the hologram first surfaced at the annual Amy Winehouse Foundation gala earlier this week as Mitch Winehouse and Base Hologram CEO Marty Tudor made the announcement.
“Amy was an extraordinary individual who had an unbelievable passion for both her music and her fans,” Tudor says in a release. “This tour will tap into that devotion and remind people of her amazing voice and all of her contributions to the world of music. In addition, we are proud to be a part of contributing to the Amy Winehouse Foundation and Amy’s legacy of commitment to others in need.”
Base Hologram believes Winehouse is the perfect person to be featured in a project of this type, as Brian Becker, founder & CEO of Base Entertainment and Base Hologram, explains.
“Amy was a powerhouse in every sense of the word,” Becker says in a statement. “She played by her own rules, pioneered her own sense of style of music and because of that we know she is the perfect person to headline this type of project.”
Base Hologram currently has two other touring shows: “In Dreams: Roy Orbison – The Hologram Concert” and “Callas in Concert,” which honors opera singer Maria Callas.
Winehouse’s family and Base Hologram are finalizing plans to incorporate both fundraising and an awareness campaign for the foundation into the world tour. Further details on this and the tour dates will be revealed at later.
Is it really a hologram?
According to Mashable, it’s not actually a hologram in the sense of being a 3D projection. The holograms we’ve seen are 3D images projected as a 2D display much like Animoji and Face ID on iPhones.
The holograms use reflection referred to as Pepper’s Ghost, which dates back to the 1800s. Back then, the illusion took advantage of mirror placement to reflection a ghost in a hidden room for phantasmagoria shows. The same illusion is used in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ballroom.
The same process was used for the 2012 Tupac Hologram at Coachella where San Diego’s AV Concepts projected Tupac onto foil and used mirrors to then project him onstage.
Real holograms are still in the works, but in the meantime Winehouse will appear in a similar way as Tupac. Base Hologram will use a mix of “digital and laser imaging.” Despite what the company name suggests, Becker states this is not technically a hologram.
“No, no. This is a 3D illusion,” Becker told CBS about another holographic tour. “‘Holographic technology’ or ‘hologram’ is just a good name that people recognize.”
Tudor further expanded on what goes into making their “holograms” in an email to Mashable.
“Without giving too much away, these tours are created utilizing cutting-edge techniques to be able to bring these projects to the stage. We start with a body double who works closely with our director to choreograph the performances and then we take the results of that and go to work on it digitally along with in many cases cleaned up and re-mastered cuts of the songs. The technology has evolved so the team can for the first time strip out the vocals and separate the tracks from both orchestra and other singers. From there it’s marrying that audio with digital and laser imaging, CGI techniques and spectacular showmanship.”
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