Holograms of Deceased Artists: Good or Bad?

Michael Jackson Billboard Awards Hologram

This might be my first feature piece in what feels like a year, but a few months have gone by since I've written one. My schedule has gotten a bit crazy right now, as I'm sure you guys who do still visit here have noticed a decrease in posts. But after last night and watching the Michael Jackson hologram on the Billboard Music Awards, I felt like I had enough thoughts to talk about this.

The first time I remember hearing about some hologram performance was when Tupac was brought back at Coachella back in 2012. I have to admit at first I was sort of in awe of what I was watching. It was so lifelike with the movements and actual look of the hologram. Technology is an unbelievable thing, but it is also pretty fucking unsettling. While I appreciate that the industry is trying show respect to the deceased artists, I can't help but just feel awkward as these "performances" come to an end. I feel like many people have that inital "wow" feeling, but as it continues you sort take it all in and wonder what you just watched.

To me, it feels like a giant scam. When it was announced about a possible tour with a Tupac hologram I was instantly pissed. To me, it is a way for the publishers, labels, rights holders, whoever is in control of the artists legacy to continue cashing in. Do you really want this to continue the legacy and show respect or is it just a way to fill your pockets? It also made me step back and wonder, "Would Tupac or Michael Jackson really be pumped about this?" We obviously never will know that answer, but it just felt weird. Luckily, that supposed tour hasn't come to fruition yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does. Especially a Michael Jackson one, as the King of Pop is probably the biggest revenue generator and most likely will continue to be for a long time. In a way, it's almost disrespectful to the human being aspect of these artists that brought music to the masses. I'm not even offended by the holograms, it really just leaves an awkward feeling in my stomach as a music fan.

It also makes you wonder, is this the future? Even after many icons are long gone, will this be how the music industry pushes concerts to live on? Will bands like Rolling Stones, The Who, The Beatles, etc. become the next holograms? There has to be limit and I would hate to see this out of control. At the same time, for younger generations in the future, it could be an interesting experience to almost relive what their parents or grandparents saw. But really, is that the way to go about it?

There are a lot of questions that need to be thought about and answered in the music industry, if it's not being discussed already. Watching the MJ performance last night left a ton of different feelings about it, both positive and negative. It's entertaining, creepy, interesting, awkward, and a whole lot more. Not sure what the future of this holds, but I really hope this doesn't become a common trend when we lose some of the world's greatest music icons.

What do you think?


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