U.K. pop vocalist Simon Webbe, formerly of multi-platinum boy band Blue, is the latest western name to announce live shows in India.
Webbe is undertaking a three-date swing through the subcontinent, promoted by VH1 India. His shows mark the unfurling of a new VH1 touring initiative under the banner "Handpicked."
Mumbai-based EMI records India is re-packaging a special 5,000-unit edition of Webbe's 2006 solo album "Grace," as "Simon Webbe: Grace India Tour" to coincide, releasing the album June 18. The tour's sponsors include Bru Ice Cappuccino, Adidas, Ray-Ban, GAS clothing, newspaper the Times of India and Yahoo!
Webbe plays the Bottles and Chimney nightclub in Hyderabad June 27, followed by the Hard Rock Café in Mumbai (28) and the Ministry of Sound in Delhi (30).
In a statement, VH1 India VP and general manager Keertan Adyanthaya described "Handpicked" as "one of our annual properties where we showcase the best of pop culture by bringing chart-topping talent [to] India." VH1 is MTV's outlet for international repertoire in India and has another touring concept, "Hip Hop Hustle," which has previously brought in U.S. talent including G-Unit/Interscope duo Mobb Deep (2006) and Interscope act Flipsyde (2005).
Webbe's former band Blue enjoyed major chart success in the United Kingdom on Virgin's Innocent imprint, racking up three No. 1 albums between 2001 and 2003. The band also built a solid fanbase in Asia. Webbe began a solo career after Blue split in 2004, releasing his debut solo set "Sanctuary" in 2005. "Grace" followed in November 2006.