Battle of the R&B crooners

OLD HAND: R Kelly’s upcoming South Africa tour will be a litmus test of his star power. Picture: FILE

THIS weekend offers an interesting toss-up between the so-called Pied Piper of R&B R Kelly and the genre’s “it” man Miguel, when tickets for their respective South African tours go on sale.

At one end is Miguel, the 27-year-old Adorn singer hailed as an “R&B dynamo” by Billboard magazine. In October last year he told the music industry magazine he wanted to “rearrange” the genre. At the other end is 46-year-old Kelly who has seen many pretenders come and go, but whose star power may also be on the wane.

Afropulse Entertainments, the promoter of Kelly’s The Single Ladies Tour, has not released venues or ticket prices yet, but they are scheduled to go on sale through Computicket from today.
A press release states Kelly will play Johannesburg on March 21 and Durban on March 23. His tour is in support of his current album, Write Me Back.

Tickets for Miguel’s show, whose real name is Miguel Jontel Pimentel, were scheduled to go on sale yesterday. Prices range from R375 to R600. The tour is in support of his second album, Kaleidoscope Dream.

He is slated to play Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Arena on March 1 and 2, and Cape Town’s Grand West Casino on March 3.

Going through prospective concertgoers’ minds will be whether Kelly still has pulling power and if Miguel has enough hits for a solo show.


  •  Pitchfork ranked Adorn as the 12th best song of last year in its top 100. Kelly’s Share My Love, meanwhile, languished at 95th.
  • Kelly has released an impressive 11 studio albums to Miguel’s two.
  • Kaleidoscope Dream debuted at No3 on the Billboard top 200 chart and had opening week sales of 71 000 copies, while Write Me Back entered at No5 and had opening week sales of 68 000.
  • Popular ratings website Metacritic gave Kaleidoscope Dream a tally of 86%, and Write Me Back got 73%.
  • Kelly has been nominated in the best R&B album category for the Grammys, which will be held next month, alongside Anthony Hamilton, Tamia, Tyrese and Robert Glasper Experiment. Miguel has been nominated for five Grammys, including song of the year for Adorn and best R&B performance for the same hit.