The singer’s family also announced a hologram tour on Monday.
When it comes to stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she has nothing.
And Whitney Houston‘s family have finally revealed why: "She didn’t want people walking on her name."
The late superstar’s sister-in-law, former manager and executor Pat Houston confirmed the reason to the New York Times on Monday, as she announced a new deal aimed at reviving the icon’s celebrity brand.
Seven years after Whitney’s death at the age of 48, the estate has signed a deal with Primary Wave Music Publishing, which has promised a possible Broadway musical, branding deals, a new album with previously unreleased tracks — and a new tour featuring a Whitney hologram.
"Everything is about timing for me," Pat told the publication. "It’s been quite emotional for the past seven years. But now it’s about being strategic."
The deal, reportedly worth $14million, gives Primary Wave 50 percent of the estate’s assets, which include royalties from music and film, merchandising, and the right to exploit her name and likeness.
According to Pat, above all the other new Whitney Projects, "The hologram has taken precedence over everything."
Holographic recreations of deceased artists have been tentatively gaining traction, kicked off by the famous re-appearance of Tupac at Coachella 2012 — just weeks after Whitney died.
"Before she passed, there was so much negativity around the name; it wasn’t about the music anymore," Pat continued. "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 also shot down the "popular misconception" that Whitney was broke at the time of her death: "She had money when she died," Pat said. "It wasn’t multimillions, like everyone thought, but she wasn’t broke."
One of the most awarded and best selling female artists of all time, Whitney sold more than 200million records and won seven of her 25 Grammy nominations. But her drug use and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown overshadowed the later years of her career.
The "Bodyguard" star was found dead in a bathtub of the Beverly Hilton on February 11, 2012, the eve of the Grammy Awards, at which she was scheduled to perform. The coroner’s report showed that she had accidentally drowned, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors.
Whitney was selected for a spot on the Walk of Fame in 1995, but never accepted it and never explained why. As per the rules, the offer expired five years later, in 2000.
Of the 2,600+ stars lining Hollywood Boulevard, only one is mounted on a wall, outside the Dolby Theatre (and for the very same reason Whitney didn’t want one — that nobody should be allowed to walk on it): Muhammad Ali’s.
While Whitney only very occasionally lent her name to brands when she was alive — Diet Coke being a rare one — Primary Wave founder Larry Mestel told the NY Times that only certain appropriate products would now be considered.
"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," he said.
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