Ben Folds will join the ranks of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Barenaked Ladies by headlining his own musical cruise, the Ben Folds Experience, which sets sail Feb. 21 from the Port of Miami and will stop in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The event was organized by Sixthman, the company behind the Skynyrd and BNL cruises.

Additional performers have yet to be announced for the Ben Folds Experience, tickets for which go on sale June 13. "I wanted to get a lot of talented musical artists together with possibly a few comedians and have some kind of magical experience," says Folds.

Folds is preparing for a summer tour opening for John Mayer, which opens June 1 in Ridgefield, Wash. "I'm just a huge Ben Folds fan, and Ben Folds Five was kind of a catalyst for me going from a guitar player to a songwriter," Mayer tells Billboard.biz. "Those first two records are just stunning, and when I was kind of thirsting for lyrical information, it just filled me in. I'm such a huge fan.

"I was kind of selfish and wanted to hear Ben Folds play all summer," he continues. "He's huge to me. I don't mention him often because so much of the conversation involves blues and jazz, but when you think about lyrics and being conversational and my lyrics being honest, that's really just me trying to clip that from Ben Folds."

Folds is also producing the solo debut album from the Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer, and is aiming to hit the studio later this year to work on his next release.


Additional reporting by John Benson, Cleveland.