Maxwell and Mary J. Blige will be heating up stages across the U.S. this winter on their King and Queen of Hearts Tour. Announced today (Sept. 7), the 24-date sweep will kick off Nov. 5 in Baltimore and wrap Dec. 14 in Chicago, with stops in New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Singer Ro James, the newcomer behind the R&B hit single “Permission,” will join the duo as a special guest.
Preceding the pair’s domestic run will be their 10-date international swing. Opening Oct. 15 in Frankfurt, Germany, Blige and Maxwell will perform in Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam and London before finishing up Oct. 30 in Manchester, U.K.
For many fans, this pairing of two of New York’s and R&B/soul’s finest no doubt represents a perfect match that’s been way too long in coming, which Maxwell and Blige readily acknowledge.
“Maxwell is a man that we need as women,” says Blige, who coined the tour’s name. “He sings from his heart and soul with an amazing voice. When you hear him, you feel comforted, good, sexy, sly. You feel like you want to go out with your girls and then you also feel like you want to lay up with your man. He just gives you that freedom as a woman to be all those sexy, empowering and beautiful things. Women need to feel like there’s some man out there that really cares and will speak to them through song.”
Adds Maxwell, who just completed a 25-date tour on behalf of his black SUMMERS’night album, “This is a bucket list situation for me, something we’ve been trying to bring together because our audiences are each other’s. Mary’s soulful voice and the way she connects with the audience; her warmth and giving nature in an industry that can make you cold, stale and jaded: I’ve learned a lot from her in that regard. And this isn’t just a love fest for people who have followed our music. This is a celebration of New York, R&B/soul music and the ‘90s.”
As for what fans can expect performance-wise, Maxwell and Blige say they’re opting for more freestyle versus planned. “Anything can happen,” promises Maxwell, hinting at potential surprise guests and pairing up together on songs. “Once we start rehearsing, we’ll sit down and pull some stuff together organically.”
“We’re definitely at service here,” says Blige. “The goal is to have a great show while making people feel good and go home empowered.”
There’s also one more thing that fans can look forward to after the tour: Maxwell and Blige plan to team up on a song for the new album that she’s recording.
The U.S. dates for the King and Queen of Hearts Tour:
11/5 — Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena
11/6 — Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
11/9 — Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
11/10 — New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
11/12 — St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
11/14 — Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
11/16 — Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
11/18 — Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
11/19 — Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
11/20 — Memphis, TN @ FedEx Forum
11/22 — Charlotte, NC @ Time Warner Cable Arena
11/23 — Richmond, VA @ Richmond Coliseum
11/25 — Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
11/26 — Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum
11/29 — Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
12/1 — New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
12/2 — Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
12/3 — Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
12/6 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum
12/7 — Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
12/9 — Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
12/11 — Bossier City, LA @ CenturyLink Center
12/12 — Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
12/14 — Chicago, IL @ United Center