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[[quoteright:350:[[Music/{{Vocaloid}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MikuIdol2_9863.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Three thousand people saw her "live".]]

So there's this new performer taking the entertainment world by storm. She's gorgeous, she's talented, she's got tons of fans... and she's not real. Well, not a flesh-and-blood human, anyway. (Whether that makes her not real is sometimes [[DoAndroidsDream debatable]].) She's some sort of program or AI, created specifically to be an actor, IdolSinger, or what have you. Most often her artificial nature will be concealed from the world, though there's the occasional CyberPunk or PostCyberPunk setting where celebrities (sometimes, ''all'' celebrities, or at least the majority) are known to be virtual and nobody cares.

[[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Any metaphors occurring to you]] about how celebrities are manufactured and marketed as products? Don't be such a cynic.

These do exist in reality; they usually either have a {{Kayfabe}} while clearly being fictional, or are openly marketed as virtual celebrities for the sake of a gimmick, but [[ParanoiaFuel at least]] one, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aimi_Eguchi Aimi Eguchi]], had been successfully passed off as a real person.

Not to be confused with SyntheticVoiceActor. Compare ReusedCharacterDesign.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Sharon Apple in ''Anime/MacrossPlus'', who is known to be computer-generated, though she still has a secret: [[spoiler: much of her personality and emotions are drawn from programmer Myung. An attempt to increase her ability to emulate emotions using an experimental military AI chip goes badly.]]
* In ''Anime/MegaManNTWarrior'', there's a virtual Idol Singer, Aki-chan. And every nearby male Navi crushes on her, from Gutsman to [=MegaMan=] himself. [[ClingyJealousGirl Roll isn't pleased]].
* Eve Tokimatsuri of ''Anime/{{Megazone 23}},'' though it's well-hidden until well into Part 1. [[spoiler: She's a subroutine of the Bahamut supercomputer that controls the GenerationShip the cast lives on. She chose 1980s Japan as "the best time to live in" and is also responsible for evaluating humanity's readiness to return to Earth at the end of Part 2.]]
* ''Anime/{{Mnemosyne}}'' has an example of this in episode four. The basis of the virtual celebrity is [[spoiler:her memories and thoughts, sucked from the Mad Scientist's daughter, killing her.]]
* American manga ([[{{Animesque}} that's not a contradiction in this case]]) ''Reality Check!'' ends up with three of these. Two of them don't know about the world outside the computer, but are self-aware enough to think of themselves as actors before an audience. The other one ''does'' know there's a world out there.
* ''Anime/AndroidAnnouncerMaico2010'': An android radio announcer.
* Nekomimi A and Nekomimi B, twin [[{{Catgirl}} catgirl]] robots, are apparently the idols of the ''Anime/TransformersEnergon'' world, making cafeteria apperances, hosting virtual gladiator matches, and even starring in their own in-series manga.
* Internet psychic Talisman and virtual anarchist Spooky Boogie from ''Anime/{{PsychoPass}}'


[[folder: Comic Book ]]

* In ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightStrikesAgain'': [[spoiler: THE PRESIDENT]] is one of this. There's an {{Anvilicious}} reason why.


[[folder: Film ]]

* Phony actress Simone in the movie ''Film/{{S1m0ne}}'' is a particularly strong example in that there isn't even an AI involved - 'her' controller speaks for 'her' and programmes 'her' movements directly, making Simone spiritually more akin to a ventriloquists dummy.
* Variation in ''The Associate''.
* There was a Creator/DisneyChannel original movie called ''Film/PixelPerfect'' on this subject. Some boy designed her, and they realized she was good at music, and she posed as a real girl for quite some time until she glitched and flickered onstage. Once word got out, she became even more immensely popular.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Rei Toei and the other idorus in William Gibson's ''{{Literature/Idoru}}''
* There's a book by Creator/NormanSpinrad, ''Little Heroes'', based upon several of those.
* James Tiptree, Jr's short story ''The Girl Who Was Plugged In'' posits a dystopian future where corporations control everything; advertising is forbidden, so corporations have to use celebrity product placements. Delphi is created to be the perfect celebrity spokesmodel, but needs a person to run her.
* In ''Literature/DoAndroidsDreamOfElectricSheep'', the religion of Earth worships Wilbur Mercer, who is later revealed to be a mental simulacrum of a character actor recorded decades ago.


[[folder: Music ]]

* The steampunk band Music/SteamPoweredGiraffe perform as "singing musical automatons".
* The band {{Music/Gorillaz}} is presented as four distinct cartoon musicians in performances and music videos, despite really just being [[IAmTheBand Damon Albarn and guest players]].
* {{Prozzak}} were this on their albums and in their videos. However, live shows would simply have the show musicians who played them performing the songs in-character without any animation.
* Possibly hinted at in Music/PeterSchilling's "(Let's Play) U.S.A."
-->"Soon the robots we create will be starring on the Great White Way."
* Music/ThePlasticEGulls are also a cartoon four-piece band performed by one guy, albeit [[StarvingArtist still looking for that big break]]...


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* MaxHeadroom, who went on to become this in real life (except that it was a character played by Matt Frewer in a foam suit in real life), with his own talk show (for which the character was actually created: the pilot didn't turn into its own fiction series for a few years until after a jump across the pond).
* Franchise/TheMuppets are basically treated like real life celebrities everywhere they appear.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode "Virtuoso", the Emergency Medical Hologram finds himself a celebrity among the [[PlanetOfHats Qomar - smug, isolationist aliens who've never heard music before]]. This newfound fame goes to his head and he seriously considers leaving Voyager, only to find his Qomar girlfriend has created a 'better' version of himself.


[[folder: New Media ]]

* The New Sync Boys from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''. [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20000624.html Definitely a metaphor.]] [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20000711.html The AI later runs away in shame,]] and joins the regular cast.
* ''Webcomic/{{Superidol}}'' has Rei Rei.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* One of the singers whose music you can purchase for BGM in ''VideoGame/PhantomCrash'' is actually just an A.I. Said A.I. (Mona Lisa) was created by and is used by the (first) game's FinalBoss. [[AIIsACrapShoot Go figure.]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{D}}'' trilogy embodies this. All of the characters are re-used in later games, giving the vibe they're the same 'actor' playing a different role. This is especially true for Laura in each game, being a mute blond every time, but different characters in the story. Characters from ''VideoGame/EnemyZero,'' Parker and Emily specifically, appear in ''D2'', giving the same vibe as Laura does.
* NG Resonance from the game ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'' is a human pop star, but the AI controlled holographic copies of her fulfill this trope. [[spoiler:It eventually transpires that the AI is actually a WTO controlled espionage system, and that the friendly and affable simulation is significantly different to the spoiled and inconsiderate original it was based on.]] You have the option to make the trope one hundred percent after you meet NG Resonance in person, you can shoot her (not a spoiler, since you can shoot anybody you come in contact with). Strangely, her AI alter ego doesn't seem to care.
* In ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'', it turns out that [[spoiler: Eliza Cassan]] is one of these, specifically engineered to [[spoiler: alter human opinions through manipulation of communications and mass media]].
* Courtney Gears from ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank'' games would be a perfect example, seeing as she's a robotic pop singer. She is not technically made to be a singer, but she fits.
* Despite the Squid Sisters being InUniverse IdolSinger in ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'', their popularity pushed Nintendo to eventually do [[{{Defictionalization}} real life concerts]] with [[MotionCapture mocaped]] holographic projections of Callie and Marie. The thing is that, despite both having assigned voice actresses[[note]]respectively Keity.pop and Mari Kikuma[[/note]], they speak in an unintelligible [[SpeakingSimlish moonspeak]] and have to be "translated" during the concert.
* ''VideoGame/AzureStrikerGunvolt'' has Lumen, who is promoted by [[MegaCorp Sumeragi]] as a virtual IdolSinger. In reality, she's a hologram subconsciously projected by [[ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl Joule]], and her songs manifest Joule's powers.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The band Binky in ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}''.
* Jem of ''WesternAnimation/JemAndTheHolograms'' fame. Indeed, Jem doesn't even exist as a person in the show, she's actually Jerrica [[WeWillNotUseStageMakeUpInTheFuture disguised beyond recognition by means of Synergy's holographic projections]]. The thing that draws the line between virtual star and stage alias? No one but Jerrica's closest friends knows she is Jem. The people in that universe perceive Jem and Jerrica as two different entities.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' features robots who work as entertainers, most notably Calculon, star of the all-robot soap opera ''All My Circuits''.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Probably the ultimate example: the Music/{{Vocaloid}} programs. They seem to be the only example, real or fictional, of ''interactive'' virtual celebrities. Almost all of the songs, outfits, dance routines, etc. are fan-made; the songs in the official concerts were bought from the fans who wrote them. Some fans have even put on their own concerts, or created Music/{{UTAU}} characters like Kasane Teto.
** Especially [[SpotlightStealingSquad Miku Hatsune]] (pictured above), who even has her own [[http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hatsune-Miku/10150149727825637?v=wall Facebook]] page). Virtual celebrity to the max! Hatsune Miku took the next step, aka CharacterCelebrityEndorsement, in a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E15PE7iGT0U Toyota Corolla Commercial]] thanks to Toyota sponsoring her upcoming USA concert. She was recruited by Domino's Pizza to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW2D_Votd2Y do the same for them]], along with being featured in a pizza ordering app for [=iOS=] gadgets.
** A copy of Vocaloid has been installed on the RealLife Gynoid "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5zu6h4H-GU&fmt=18 Aiko]]". There is "live" on stage performance: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhl5afLEKdo Hatsune Miku]], thanks to the same rear-projecting technology that brought {{Music/Gorillaz}} to a live performance.
** [[Creator/MegumiNakajima Gumi]] will be joining in the live performance fun soon, as demonstrated at the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8Lf8o_CXOU Digital Content Expo]] using [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality Augmented Reality]].
** The Crypton Vocaloids are in collaboration with Family Mart, advertising for the chain store. Hell, Kaito even has his own brand of ice cream.
** Notably, even before Miku and friends hit this in real life, this was a common portrayal of them in fictional settings and fan-created headcanons for how they would have careers as singers.
* [[http://www.wdirewolff.com/jkyoko.htm Kyoko Date]], who enjoyed some popularity in the late '90s but was something of a one-hit wonder, releasing only one single.
* {{Music/Gorillaz}} is arguably the most successful to date. They even performed "live" as holograms (using a technology called Pepper's Ghost) at the Grammy Awards back in 2006.
* Aki Ross from ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin'', whom Square and Sony were marketing as a virtual celebrity of sorts, even planning to reuse her as a "virtual actress" in unrelated roles for future films. Of course, the film flopped (taking Square with it) and consigned Aki to the dustbin of history.
* Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks.
* The Franchise/{{Archie|Comics}}s tried to be one. They had a hit single. That's about it.
* Konami tried to market ''VisualNovel/TokimekiMemorial'''s heroine [[TheAce Shiori Fujisaki]] as one, complete with several music albums, two music videos, and an official fan club. Apparently it didn't go very far thanks to several [[EnsembleDarkhorse Ensemble Darkhorses]] such as Saki Nijino stealing the limelight.
* Similar case as Simone from the film: [[http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/atoz/2011/06/aimi_eguchi_japanese_fake_pop_star_akb48.php Aimi Eguchi]], the latest member of Japanese pop group AKB 48, was created as a composite using photoshopping techniques by blending the features of several of the other members of the group, and was passed off as a real artist. Before long fans got suspicious and the management spilled the beans.
* Creator/CartoonNetwork took several runs at this with varying degrees of success. ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhostCoastToCoast'' for one, Moxy the Dog (played by a motion captured Creator/BobcatGoldthwait) for another.
* The [[FaceOfTheBand face of]] the Genki Rockets is the fictional character Lumi, born in space in the year 2037, and also appearing in the games ''VideoGame/{{Lumines}} II'' and ''VideoGame/ChildOfEden''. She is depicted as a "holographic" projection in live performances, similar to Miku Hatsune. Her appearance is based on Rachel Rhodes, and her voice is apparently a combination of Rhodes, Nami Miyahara, and possibly others.
* The "Music/{{Tupac|Shakur}} hologram" that was employed at the 2012 Coachella Music Festival showcased another application of this trope. Rather than create an entirely fictional persona, the technology was used to bring "back to life" one who had been dead for fifteen years.
* [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/606855.stm Ananova]] was touted as the world's first virtual newscaster. It didn't last.
* Music/{{Savlonic}}, a fictional band created by Weebl of ''WebAnimation/WeeblAndBob'' fame.
* [[http://cukt.art.pl/wiktoria/ Wiktoria Cukt]], a 2000 Polish art project to create a "virtual presidential candidate" who has the perfect political platform--one made up of [[http://cukt.art.pl/wiktoria/zgloszen.html contributions by the web-surfers themselves.]][[note]]The "contributions" page has no English version, unfortunately.[[/note]]
* [[http://www.iamamber.com Amber G]] is a very early one, having been around since at least 2003 (the year of her first album), her most recent album (her third) was released in 2008. However, her "career" never really went anywhere. Any "fame" she may have had was likely restricted to the website.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gummib%C3%A4r Gummibar]], who is well-known for "I'm a Gummy Bear (The Gummy Bear Song)"
* Two early 2000s examples from Italy:
** [[http://www.bubblegumdancer.com/project.php?id=49 Jenny Rom]], a bubblegum dance/electronic project, was originally conceived as a virtual computer singer (whose most famous track was named "www.Blonde Girl" to make it clear). Later on they dropped this gimmick though.
** [[http://www.discoservicemusicheria.com/shop/shopping-on-line/mr-ambo-ambo-mambo-vinile-mix/ Mr. Ambo]] (2001) was supposed to be one of these, a virtual [[MrFanservice Latin macho man]] whose only song "Ambo Mambo" was thought to be a sure-fire summer hit. It even had a personal site and all. However, it was an abysmal flop: the song (a rubbish cover of "Mambo Jambo") received next to no airplay, nobody cared despite extensive market researches (or so they claimed) and the character was immediately forgotten.
* Anime/SuperSonico was originally created as the mascot of Creator/{{Nitroplus}}'s very own live show ''NITRO SUPER SONIC'', but her popularity resulted in her becoming a virtual singer, along with her band ''First Astronomical Velocity''. Here is their [[http://www.georide.jp/superorbital/ official site]].
* YouTube has gotten its first taste of this with ''WebVideo/KizunaAI'' a "Virtual [=YouTuber=]" (also animated in Miku Miku Dance) who spends her time doing LetsPlay of video games or trying out apps, just like most gaming [=YouTubers=], except for the fact that she's a virtual anime girl.