If you, like us, couldn’t stop cringing at the idea of immortalizing the iconic Whitney Houston as a hologram (which most definitely happened), here’s some news you might find somewhat more appealing. The late songstress’ digital legacy is growing with the announcement of a debut NFT collection produced by OneOf, the green music NFT platform backed by none other than music impresario Quincy Jones—and it will include a never-before-released demo from a then 17-year-old Houston.
“Whitney is an icon for the ages,” said OneOf co-founder Joshua James. “We couldn’t be more excited to be releasing this historical song from the very beginning of her journey as an artist.”
Per a press release provided to The Root:
This exclusive collection culminates in a single “OneOf One Iconic” item: an early never-before-heard full-length song demo recording that Houston made at age 17. This recording will be auctioned in December, with auction details revealed on December 1 at OneOf.world, a two-day immersive art, music and NFT experience during Miami Art Week. The winner of the auction will have personal access to this recording in their OneOf Vault along with a digital video created by breakout 17-year-old artist Diana Sinclair, who has recently been featured in TIME, Teen Vogue and Hypebeast.
The Whitney Houston OneOf collection includes thousands of affordable, fixed-price NFTs. The Gold and Platinum items feature rarely-seen archival photos from Houston’s early life and career, designed as colorful and vibrant animations that create a mesmerizing digital scrapbook effect. For the Diamond tier, Sinclair’s video artwork was inspired by the songs and music videos for “The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You,” exploring Houston’s focus on supporting and inspiring young people, especially Black youth.
On that note (pun intended), proceeds from the collection will benefit the Whitney E. Houston Foundation, a nonprofit “which continues Houston’s work to empower, support, and inspire young people.” Accordingly, commissioning 17-year-old artist-activist Sinclair to create the visuals for the collection “echoes Houston’s mission,” states the release. Named among Fortune’s “NFTy 50: The 50 most influential people in NFTs,” the young digital artist has advocated for equity in the growing NFT industry with their critically acclaimed exhibition “The Digital Diaspora.”
Said Sinclair in a statement:
“Before shooting, I spent a lot of time consuming not only the music that Whitney sang, but also the visuals that surrounded her. Whether that be from photoshoots or her music videos, I saw a common theme in a lot of her work, the empowerment of Black women. One of my favorite examples of that was in the music video for her song, ‘I’m Every Woman.’ Whitney’s talent and presence stands out a lot to me as a young Black woman in the arts. It’s empowering to me to see such positive (often playful) depictions of Black women in media, and matriarchal love and perseverance, like in the ‘Greatest Love of All’ music video and song. In the artworks I created, I wanted to highlight those sides of Whitney in the upper tiers, and then create animation work that simply let Whitney shine while touching on the colorful playful energy she had throughout her career.”
“I’m excited to see Whitney’s legacy and her wonderful music expand into bold new technology of this era,” said Pat Houston, executor of the Estate of Whitney E. Houston and sister-in-law of the beloved star. “It was a joy partnering with 17-year-old Diana Sinclair and watching the artistry of Whitney’s music influence a new generation.”
The Whitney “OneOf One” NFT will be the first NFT in the “OneOf Iconic” series, which will be unveiled at OneOf.world during Miami Art Week. Interested bidders can register and pre-qualify for the auction starting today on OneOf.com/whitney. While there, they can also access a limited-edition Gold tier pre-sale of only 300 tokens at $17. Per the release, the primary 7-day sale of Platinum, Diamond, and remaining Gold tier NFTs will begin on November 30. Interested bidders can pre-qualify on OneOf.com/whitney starting today.