Here’s the “good”—Prince is apparently “returning” to us, in the form of a hologram at the Super Bowl this Sunday. And the bad: according to former Prince collaborator Sheila E., Prince never wanted to be a hologram. And the “ugly”: not only did he not want to be a hologram, he thought the entire business of virtual reality was “demonic.”
Per Prince in 1998 in an interview with Guitar World, in which he was asked:
“With digital editing, it is now possible to create a situation where you could jam with any artist from the past. Would you ever consider doing something like that?”
His unequivocal answer:
Certainly not. That’s 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.
Our next logical question to ask is, then: Why the fuck is he appearing at the Super Bowl as a hologram?
Well, his sister suggested the idea of him returning as a hologram last year…and presumably she’s the one with the sign-off rights. As for the Super Bowl connection, this year’s event is taking place in Minneapolis—Prince’s hometown.
So outside of the fact that the late singer apparently felt the hologram is kinda Satanic…I guess there’s no problem at all!
But we have to face the fact that the existing technology we have now—and what’s going to be available in only a short time—will easily be able to “bring back” these departed entertainers via holograms, CGI, AI, and etc. The technology will be there, the people who are in control of many of these estates are going to sign off on it, and that’s that. What the original artist or actor or personality will, unfortunately, be inconsequential…unless the public/fans hold the corporations and organizations doing this whole “resurrection” business accountable.