Pop go the stars: Simon Fuller teams up with mainland Chinese firms to create digital pop stars

British entrepreneur created holographic Michael Jackson; his pop stars will be able to perform at multiple locations in multiple languages

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 March, 2016, 12:04am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 March, 2016, 11:00am

The man behind the hit American Idol TV show is preparing to impress the world with his next big creation – digital pop stars.

British entrepreneur and talent manager Simon Fuller is working on developing virtual music stars through his digital production firm, Pulse Evolution Corp, which is backed by money from two mainland Chinese firms, Original Force Computer Animation and Shanghai U9 Game, which are portfolio investments of Tencent Holdings.

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Fuller is a business partner with English soccer star David Beckham, whose wife Victoria is currently in Hong Kong to open her first fashion store in the city.

Pulse is the company that caused a sensation earlier with life-like holographic images of dead singers such as Michael Jackson. This time, it will develop several virtual music stars, one of them an entirely fictional pop singer for young fans.

Another make-believe star will be based on a real-life artist who is not famous and may do better in digital form.

They will hit the scene over the next 18 months. Because they are digital, the virtual pop stars can perform simultaneously at multiple locations and communicate with audiences in several languages.

“I am very excited by all the incredible opportunities virtual reality and immersive technology will provide,” Fuller said. “Entertainment will be at the forefront of showcasing this incredible new technology.”