Erykah Badu Shows May Lead To Women-Only Concert Series

Recruits Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, Jill Scott for shows this month to determine viability of tour.

Erykah Badu will test the waters for a sort of soul sisters' Lilith Fair

with a pair of all-star festivals this month.

Earlier this summer the bald singer announced she'd recruited Macy Gray,

Jill Scott, Sunshine Anderson and Zap Mama for the Marimba Festival in

Clarkston, Michigan, on August 8 (see "[article id="1444754"]Erykah Badu Plans Tour And

One-Day Female Soul Festival"[/article]). The show looked to be a one-off, but

she's gone on to add a concert at Toronto's Molson Amphitheater on

August 29 for which she and Scott will be joined by red-hot newcomers

Alicia Keys and Nikka Costa, as well as up-and-comers Jaguar and Divine

Earth Essence.

According to Badu's agent, Cara Lewis, the shows will help determine the

viability of a full-scale tour in summer 2002. Ticket sales so far

indicate high demand, Lewis said. The tour would feature Badu as one of

the headliners, with a varying lineup of other female soul singers.

"When you look at Erykah Badu, there's no classier performer right now,

and that is setting the tone for the full show," said Elliott Lefko,

director of booking at House of Blues Concerts Canada, which is

promoting the Toronto show.

Badu's friend Gray suggested one reason the lineup may fluctuate. While

she praised Badu recently for pulling together the Michigan lineup, Gray

added that the idea of a full outing with the girls isn't all that

appealing.

"One of the best things about the music business is that it's dominated

by men," Gray said. "It's a great opportunity to be around men all the

time. I loved that bill that she put together, [but] I don't know if I

want to do an all-woman tour.

"If I happen to put together a bill that was real dope like that and it

happened to be all women, that'd be cool. But hangin' out with dudes in

other bands is like the best thing in the whole world - like when we

went out with the Roots and Everlast, you have your little bowling

parties and you could have one-night stands in a bunk and stuff like

that.

"You just can't do that on a women's tour."