BEVERLY HILLS, California — Missy Elliott woke up Thursday morning with a little jingle in her head.
"I was like, 'Alicia, Beyoncé, Missy ... Alicia, Beyoncé, Missy,' " Elliott recalled, bobbing her head along.
The jingle, of course, is the colossal lineup for the rapper's spring tour — three women so popular they are often referred to only by their first names.
Missy probably had Alicia and Beyoncé's names in her head because she called each of them the night before to talk about Thursday's press conference promoting the outing, which begins March 12 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (see "Beyonce, Alicia Keys And Missy Elliott Plan Spring Tour").
"She called just to talk and make sure everyone had great vibes, which is nice," Beyoncé said at the Beverly Hills Hotel with her upcoming tour co-stars. "That does not happen with ladies, so I know that the competitiveness and all that, that's not gonna happen."
"There might be some competition in a good way," Elliott added. "We just trying to have a hot tour, where everybody hits back-to-back, like bam, bam, bam. Like, 'God dang, what's next?' "
Missy's phone calls are exemplary of the genuine relationships among the ladies, which the trio think will make the tour stand out from other package treks.
"I went out on the Lilith Fair tour and it was amazing just to see the females get along together," Elliott said. "You can tell when it's a tense tour, and just by us taking pictures [together before the press conference] I felt like, 'Wow, this just opens the door for us to be family and not just jump on the road together.' "
It also helps that the ladies have known each other for years.
"Missy and I worked on Missy's second record when I was 15 years old, so we go back," said Beyoncé, who like Elliott has been wanting to do an all-female tour for months. "And Alicia, every time I see her, she has such a great spirit and she has such a great voice, and I respect both of them because they write and produce, and that's so great that all of us write and produce and are true musicians and artists."
Beyoncé, Keys and Elliott are similar in their behind-the-scenes talents, but onstage the women are quite different, which also excites them.
"The show in itself is gonna be exciting for that fact," Keys said. "You're gonna see three different styles of women who are strong ... and being that we're all co-headliners just makes it all the better."
Keys, who will be touring arenas for the first time, is best known for crooning behind a piano, but she's adding some production elements for this show, which she's already been rehearsing.
"I like to do things that I don't normally do, because it's fun for me and it's definitely fun for you, so you'll see that there'll be a nice mixture," she said. "It will definitely be based in the music, first and foremost. ... And then we have some little surprises and some things that we could just have a good time with."
The ladies said a performance featuring the three of them is a possibility, although neither Beyoncé nor Elliott has begun rehearsing, so nothing is final.
"I haven't started yet, but I've seen both of their shows and I know when I leave here I need to start rehearsals," Elliott joked. "I've got a lot of work to do."
Dates for the Verizon Tour starring Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Missy Elliott, according to their publicists:
- 3/12 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ National Car Rental Center
- 3/14 - New Orleans, LA @ Superdome
- 3/17 - San Antonio, TX @ SBC Center
- 3/18 - Houston, TX @ Reliant Stadium (Beyoncé only)
- 3/21 - Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum
- 3/23 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wachovia Center
- 3/24 - Boston, MA @ Fleet Center
- 3/26 - Hampton, VA @ Hampton Coliseum
- 3/27 - Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Coliseum
- 3/28 - Atlanta, GA @ Phillips Arena
- 3/30 - Cleveland, OH @ Gund Arena
- 4/1 - Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
- 4/2 - Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena
- 4/3 - Detroit, MI @ Palace at Auburn Hills
- 4/4 - St. Louis, Mo @ Savvis Center
- 4/6 - Pittsburgh, Pa @ University of Pittsburgh Arena
- 4/9 - Hartford, CT @ Civic Center
- 4/10 - Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
- 4/12 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
- 4/15 - Phoenix, AZ @ America West Arena
- 4/16 - Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay
- 4/18 - Oakland, CA @ Oakland Arena