Whitney Houston’s estate is planning a series of new projects, including a hologram tour and an album of unreleased tracks.
“The hologram has taken precedence over everything,” Pat Houston, the late singer’s estate executor and sister-in-law, told The New York Times in an article published Monday.
The potential projects stem from a new contract the estate signed last week with Primary Wave, a New York-based music and marketing company.
As part of the agreement, Primary Wave will acquire 50 percent of the estate’s assets, including Houston’s royalties from music and movies, as well as merchandising, and the right to use the singer’s name and likeness. The deal is valued at about $14 million.
Larry Mestel, founder of Primary Wave, told The Times he’s in discussions with Broadway producers about a potential musical and a Las Vegas-style production.
“Whitney was America’s sweetheart,” Mestel said. “And the idea now is to remind people that that is what her legacy is.”
Mestel insisted Primary Wave will be considerate about Houston’s image.
“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.
Houston, a six-time Grammy winner and actress, was found dead in a hotel bathtub in Beverly Hills in 2012. Before her death, she had become a tabloid staple for her erratic behavior and public struggle with drugs.
A documentary last year titled Whitney, which the estate authorized yet later condemned, included more troubling allegations about the beloved singer, including claims that she was molested by a relative as a child.
Later this year, there could be additional scrutiny when Houston’s longtime friend Robyn Crawford releases a memoir the publisher says will “set the record straight” regarding the music icon’s “complex life.”
Houston’s family hopes the Primary Wave deal will rehabilitate the singer’s image, and put the focus back on her music.
“Before she passed, there was so much negativity around the name; it wasn’t about the music anymore,” Pat Houston said. “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.”
The hologram is already in development. Dates for the tour and new music have not yet been announced.