Whether you’re an adoring Tupac Shakur fan or not, the unexpected hologram appearance of the deceased rapper during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival performance on Sunday was nothing short of impressive. With his true to life mannerisms and virtual swag, if you will, this performance gave a glimmer of hope to those who desire to recapture the talent of artists gone too soon. Footage of the monumental performance emerged yesterday morning, generating over a million views on various YouTube videos, and producing a great deal of conversation about the constant evolution of technology.
BlackEnterprise.com takes a look at 5 other “visual” entertainers.–Reginald Larkin
MC Skat Kat Kicks It with Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul’s cartoon costar left quite an impression on audiences in her video for “Opposites Attract,” featured on her debut album Forever Your Girl. Created by Michael Patterson, directed by Candace Reckinger and performed by The Wild, the savvy cat moved on to getting his own record deal on the Virgin/Captive Record label. Abdul went on to win a Grammy in 1991 for Best Short Form Music Video for the hit track.
Cita’s World Airs on Black Entertainment Television
The brainchild of former EVP at Viacom/BET Curtis A. Gadson and concept designer Corey Turner, Cita graced the network with her often outlandish commentary in between features of popular hip-hop/rap and R&B music videos. As BET’s well-known virtual character, this cyber home girl served up celebrity gossip and tips well before Wendy Williams and Mo’Nique hit the television scene. While the network’s inclusion of Cita was seen as controversial, she generated quite the viewership with the cable network’s show lasting three years. Cita originally emerged on Jam Zone, which later turned into her self-titled show.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper Interviews Holographic Will.i.am
An already memorable night got even more exciting when CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper beamed in Black Eyed Peas frontman turned director of creative innovation for Intel Will.i.am for their election-night coverage in 2008. The network debuted its groundbreaking tech capabilities with political correspondent Jessica Yellin, and later in the evening with Will.i.am where he discussed his song and music video about Barack Obama’s anticipated win. The artist likened his futuristic appearance to that of a scene from Star Wars.
Michael Jackson Joins Janet in Her 2009 VMA Performance
In a heartfelt tribute to her deceased brother, Janet Jackson danced alongside images of Michael Jackson from their 1995 video “Scream.” “I know he was watching,” said the youngest Jackson sibling to MTV. “I know he was looking down. I hope he enjoyed it.”
Beyoncé Dances with Video Projected Clones
The Grammy Award-winning artist (and proud new mom to Blue Ivy Carter) is known to give a larger than life performance when she hits the stage, but her 2011 Billboard Music Awards performance broke new ground. The eldest Knowles sister, who donned a revealing metallic silver web dress, rocked the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas with a digital army of clones. Alongside the futuristic video projections, Beyoncé danced to Run the World.