— The Oxford Handbook of Music & Virtuality just published, containing my chapter: "Hatsune Miku, 2.0Pac and Beyond: Rewinding and Fast-forwarding the Virtual Pop Star." The abstract:
Pop music fans on both sides of the Pacific recently witnessed the debuts of several virtual pop stars, from the premiere of a “holographic” rapper Tupac Shakur at the 2012 Coachella music festival to frequent live concert performances by Japan’s famously digital idol singer, Hatsune Miku. This chapter rewinds the history of such virtual pop stars to examine the features that made commercially and culturally successful characters of Alvin & the Chipmunks, the Archies, the Muppets, Gorillaz, Dethklok and many more. In each case, success of a virtual performing character is directly related to its situation within the context of a performer narrative and to its visual depiction stopping just short of the uncanny valley. For these and future virtual pop stars, navigating that precipice is the key to popular acceptance across cultures.