Back from the black: should Amy Winehouse and other stars be turned into holograms?

The decision to turn the artist into a virtual reality experience has divided fans. Is she being vividly celebrated, or ghoulishly pushed back on stage without her consent?

It is difficult to say which image of Amy Winehouse has lingered loudest and longest – wild-eyed and desperate on a street corner in Camden; scuffling with a fan on stage at Glastonbury in 2008; or perhaps as she was portrayed in Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary, heaved on to a plane unconscious in the summer of 2011 to play what would be her final show in Belgrade. Maybe it is better to remember her performance at the Mercury prize in 2007 singing Love Is a Losing Game: her face gentle, her voice burnished, looking quite overwhelmed as the evening’s host, Jools Holland, told the rapturous crowd: “I’ve worked with a lot of people and I’m telling you, she has one of the best voices of anybody of all time.”

It has been announced that Winehouse will return to the stage once again in 2019, touring the world in hologram form. Winehouse is not the first artist to receive the hologram treatment – there have already been such incarnations of Tupac Shakur, Maria Callas, Michael Jackson and more. But the decision to turn Winehouse into a hologram, seven years after her death from alcohol poisoning, has divided many. For some this is a celebration of a great and much-missed musician. Others argue that an artist who loathed touring and hated fame should be allowed to rest.

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