Wrapping our brains around the plan for a Selena hologram

Earlier this month, we were remembering Selena Quintanilla: the amazing singer, songwriter, actress, and fashion designer who totally captured our hearts.

Unfortunately, the reason we were remembering her was heartbreaking: it’s been 20 years since she was tragically murdered by the president of the official Selena fan club.

But now, the queen of Tejano is returning . . . in the form of a hologram. Selena’s family is working together with a Nevada-based independent tech company, Acrovirt, LLC to create a “digital embodiment” of Selena entitled “Selena The One.”

Two days ago, an announcement was made on Selena’s Facebook page about project. “HappyTuesday Selena fans! SURPRISE!! Acrovirt, LLC announces the launch of Selena The One. . .working in collaboration with Selena’s immediate family and cutting-edge scientists to enable new productions for her many fans.”

 “Selena The One,” as the hologram will be known, will feature a “walking, talking, singing, and dancing, digital embodiment of iconic singer, Selena.” Selena The One will be releasing new videos and songs, collaborate with current major artists, and will even be going on tour in 2018.

According to Acrovirt, this is some seriously legit technology. In fact, they’re calling it a “Human Essence. “Using detailed individual personalized functions spanning the mind, brain and body, the individual’s Digitized Human Essence will autonomously learn and react on behalf of its human counterpart’s,” according to Acrovirt.

Billboard also reached out to Selena’s sister, Suzette, who confirmed that this will, indeed, be happening. . . and she totally supports it. “By no means is this something creepy or weird,” she told Billboard in a phone interview yesterday. “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.”

This has been something that has been in the works since last year. After several meetings with the company, the family finally agreed to make Selena The One.

Acrovirt will also be launching an IndieGoGo on April 16. The goal is to raise $500,000 “to support the launch of Selena The One,” according to the official Selena The One website.

Another major player who’s come on board for the Selena hologram? The San Diego Latino Film Festival. According to the Festival director Phil Lorenzo, “We are ecstatic to be a partner with Acrovirt on this groundbreaking project that represents the convergence of music, legacy, and the latest technology. This is an extraordinary effort to bring back one of the greatest voices in Latino music history.”

Suzette cautions that it’s not about bringing Selena back herself. “It’s not about replacing Selena in any shape, way or form; it’s just something to help her legacy continue growing.”

People on Twitter have mixed reactions:

We’re super-supportive of Selena’s family making efforts to preserve her legacy. Those closest to her, who suffered unimaginable grief over her loss, have the right to decide how they honor her memory. Of course, new-fangled technology always feels a little futuristic in that “uncanny valley” way and even exploitative if put in the wrong hands. But clearly Selena’s family wants to keep the memory of her work alive, and to introduce her to a new generation—because she deserves all the recognition in the world. We’re still at a point where holograms feel rather sci-fi, but maybe they won’t in the future. Maybe they’ll become an increasingly common resource for remembering lost loved ones, or maybe not. For now, it may seem strange, but we applaud any effort to reignite the light of a star who was taken from this world too soon.

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