The late American singer Whitney Houston performing onstage during the 2011 Pre-Grammy Gala & Salute to Industry Icons. — AFP File Photo
NEW YORK — The estate of Whitney Houston has struck a deal aiming to revive the late superstar's brand, potentially launching a touring hologram and album of unreleased music.
New York-based company Primary Wave Music Publishing announced on Monday it penned an agreement with megacelebrity Houston's estate, acquiring 50 per cent of its assets including royalties from her music, films and merchandising.
The most awarded female artist of all time, Houston died at 48 years old in 2012 after a public struggle with drugs, following a decade that saw her go from America's sweetheart to tabloid drama queen.
"With Primary Wave's global appeal and wealth of contacts, the partnership will advance the artistry and integrity of Whitney's legacy to a stratosphere that she herself left us all to enjoy for a lifetime," Pat Houston, the late artist's sister-in-law and executor of the estate, said in a statement.
"Before she passed, there was so much negativity around the name; it wasn't about the music anymore," Pat Houston told The New York Times.
"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."
She told the paper a hologram tour featuring the artist's laser-generated likeness is the first priority of the new contract, which could be followed by branding deals and a potential Broadway musical.
"Whitney Houston is an incomparable artist whose voice resonates in people's lives to this day," said Lawrence Mestel, head of Primary Wave, which focuses on marketing classic catalogues of megawatt names including Bob Marley, Smokey Robinson and Def Leppard.
"She is the definition of an icon and we are thrilled to partner with Pat Houston and the entire Houston family to further the legacy of this legendary artist." AFP