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Seven years after her death, Whitney Houston's estate is ready to do business. The late singer's sister-in-law, Pat Houston, the sole executor of the estate, has revealed plans for a "hologram" tour, an album of unreleased material, a possible musical and increased branding opportunities thanks to a 50 percent arrangement with Primary Wave Music Publishing, according to The New York Times.
The Primary Wave deal, signed last week, gives the publisher a 50 percent stake in Houston estate assets, including royalties from her music and film careers, as well as merchandising and the right to explore commercial uses of her name and likeness. The deal valued Houston's estate at $14 million, Billboard can confirm. "Whitney was America's sweetheart, and the idea now is to remind people that that is what her legacy is," commented Larry Mestel, Primary Wave's founder.
The first act in this revival of Houston's legacy will be the hologram tour, which is currently under development, the estate said. Houston would join other similar posthumous singers as laser-projected performers on the road, including Roy Orbison, Frank Zappa and Ronnie James Dio. The Times reports that Houston's former backing band, including her brother Gary, Pat's husband, would perform the music on the tour.
BASE Hologram, the company behind hologram tours for Orbison, Maria Callas and Buddy Holly, is working with the Houston estate on the project.
Future projects would include a Broadway-style musical featuring Houston's songs and a new album of unused tracks from the R&B/pop icon's 1985 debut album. Mestel indicated that discussions with Broadway producers were already underway for the musical, while Primary Wave and the estate will have to work closely with Sony, which owns Houston's recordings, on music releases.