Wrapping our brains around the Patsy Cline hologram
Over half a century ago, the world lost the iconic Patsy Cline, a legendary singer and one of the first women of the country crossover movement. But come 2016, Cline will be returning to the big stage again . . . in holographic form.
Remember when a holographic Tupac showed up at Coachella 2012? The same company who handled the technology behind that performance — Hologram USA — will be overseeing “an interactive concert that will feature both ‘live’ performance and commentary,” reports Rolling Stone. The concert, will star the one-and-only Patsy . . . well, a holograph of the one-and-only, anyway. Patsy will be the company’s very first holographic woman, as well as country singer.
As Rolling Stone points out, the company has had experience with various short, temporary late-celeb appearances, such as the aforementioned Tupac, Elvis Presley, and even Michael Jackson. However, the Patsy project may end up being one of the company’s longest running shows (though they also plan to give a long-term concert in the future to both Buddy Holly and Liberace, the publication points out).
“. . . Patsy Cline will demonstrate how we can bring all the warmth and virtuosity of a true icon back for new audiences,” said CEO of Hologram USA Alki David in a statement, according to Billboard. “We chose Patsy as our first country hologram project, and our first female hologram project, for a reason: she was a pioneer who influenced generations of singers around the globe.”
As always, the idea of a hologram version of a deceased celebrity makes us a little uneasy. There’s the whole “uncanny valley” possibility that gives us goosebumps — plus, it can feel a little bit exploitative, capitalizing on an icon’s work even after he or she isn’t around to have a say. But Patsy’s husband, who helps manage her estate, supports the idea. “We are very glad to share Patsy and her music with this new technology and format and honored by Hologram USA’s choice to have her as the first [country hologram],” he wrote in a statement, according to Rolling Stone. “I am sure her fans, old and new, will be thrilled.”
Earlier this year, the Internet was all over the news that there will soon be a Selena Quintanilla hologram entitled “Selena The One,” which will feature a “walking, talking, singing, and dancing, digital embodiment of iconic singer, Selena.” This news came a little over 20 years after the singer-songwriter was tragically murdered by the president of the official Selena fan club.
“By no means is this something creepy or weird,” Selena’s sister, Suzette, told Billboard shortly after the announcement. “We think it’s something amazing. A lot of the new fans that did not get to experience what Selena was about hopefully will be able to get a sense of her with this new technology that’s going to be coming out.”
It’s looking like holograms are the entertainment of the future (even Bill Nye recently explained how they work, and Bill Nye knows all). We’re not totally sure how to feel about it all, but in the meantime, we’ll be listening to some of Patsy’s best hits, like “I Fall To Pieces” and “Crazy.” Oh, how Patsy’s beautiful voice can melt our hearts.