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Prince May Return as a Hologram Even Though He Called the Idea ‘Demonic’

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

This October, London’s O2 Arena will host an exhibition of Prince memorabilia curated by his sister, Tyka Nelson. The event will include instruments, outfits and handwritten lyrics from her brother. She’s also reportedly considering the idea of having a hologram of him make an appearance from beyond the grave.

“A hologram could be done as long as it is of excellent quality,” she told Inews. “It would have to allow the fans to experience Prince in the way he allowed us to experience his music.”

Back in 2012, a hologram of Tupac Shakur appeared during Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre‘s set at Coachella. Two years later, the same technology was used to allow Michael Jackson to make a cameo at the Billboard Music Awards. Beginning in November, a band will back a hologram version of Ronnie James Dio for a tour of Europe.

But although the cover of 1991’s Diamonds and Pearls featured a hologram of Prince, he has gone on record as being completely against the idea of using technology to resurrect the dead. Back in 1998, he told Guitar World that using technology to allow him to perform with musicians from the past was “the most demonic thing imaginable. Everything is as it is, and it should be. If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age. That whole virtual reality thing… it really is demonic. And I am not a demon. Also, what they did with that Beatles song [“Free as a Bird“], manipulating John Lennon‘s voice to have him singing from across the grave… that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.”

Unfortunately, because Prince didn’t have a will, which could have laid out instructions for how his music and image could be used after his death, he may not have a say in the matter. Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys, who died in 2012, expressly forbade the use of his music or image in advertisements in his will.

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