2022 has seen scores of successful artists tour the UK. In particular, we have welcomed a series of African-American icons over the summer: Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, and Diana Ross (who I have reviewed twice).
As summer comes to an end, the UK will be treated to a few more Black superstars from across the pond, with the all-star Giants of Soul tour. Its legendary line-up is headed by the UK’s own Tunde Baiyewu (the voice of The Lighthouse Family), alongside the American Deniece Williams, Gwen Dickey (the voice of Rose Royce), and Alexander O’Neal.
The Lighthouse Family have sold over 15 million albums, with singles including ‘Lifted’, ‘Ocean Drive’, ‘Goodbye Heartbreak’, ‘Loving Every Minute’, ‘Raincloud’, ‘High’, ‘Lost in Space’, ‘Question of Faith’, ‘Postcard from Heaven’, ‘(I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be) Free/One’, and ‘Run’. Tunde Baiyewu, the group’s lead singer, has received top-billing for the tour.
Four time Grammy-winner Deniece Williams has achieved chart hits with songs such as ‘Free’, ‘That’s What Friends Are For’, ‘Too Much, Too Little, Too Late’, ‘It’s Gonna Take a Miracle’, and ‘Let’s Hear It for the Boy.’
Rose Royce achieved nine UK top 40 songs: the Grammy-winning ‘Car Wash’, alongside chart-busters ‘I Wanna Get Next to You’, ‘Do Your Dance (Part 1)’, ‘It Makes You Feel Like Dancin”, ‘Wishing on a Star’, ‘Love don’t Live Here Anymore’, and ‘Is It Love You’re After’, the re-release of ‘Car Wash’ / ‘Is It Love You’re After’, and ‘Car Wash ’98’ (which was credited to Rose Royce featuring Gwen Dickey).
This will be lead singer Gwen Dickey’s farewell tour, after headlining the last night of Hale Barns Carnival in July.
Alexander O’Neal, the last of the tour’s “big names”, has achieved 14 UK top 40 hits, including ‘If You Were Here Tonight’, ‘Saturday Love’, ‘Fake’, ‘Criticize’, ‘Never Knew Love Like This’, ‘The Lovers’, ‘(What Can I Say) To Make You Love Me’, ‘Fake 88’, ‘The Christmas Song’ / ‘Thank You for a Good Year’, ‘Hit Mix (Official Bootleg Mega-Mix)’, ‘All True Man’, ‘Love Makes No Sense’, and ‘In the Middle.’
Like Dickey, O’Neal was supposed to be headlining Hale Barns Carnival’s Saturday night show but sadly dropped out – so fans will be thrilled to hear they are getting another chance to see the songster in action.
The captivating quartet will be joined by three smaller soul singers: two sensations and a starlet.
Black British divas Jaki Graham and Janet Kay will be joined by African-American songstress Candace Woodson – who has been warmly prefixed with “introducing.”
Jaki Graham has had six UK top 40 songs: ‘Could It Be I’m Falling in Love’, ‘Round and Around’, ‘Mated’, ‘Set Me Free’, ‘Breaking Away’, and ‘Step Right Up.’
Janet Kay, the “Queen of Lover’s Rock”, is best-known for her UK no. 2 hit ‘Silly Games.’
Lastly, the little-known but hugely talented Candace Woodson achieved a UK Soul Chart No. 1 with ‘Midas Touch (Ooh Ooh)’, just last year. Her top song on Spotify is ‘What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas.’
Collectively, these seven artists boast over 5 million followers on Spotify, with 18 UK top ten hits and a whopping 47 top 40 hits!
Visiting 19 cities across the UK in September and early October 2022, the show features over three hours of non-stop hits.
The event will be hosted by Smooth FM’s Angie Greaves – tying together this collection of tremendous melanated talent with a beautiful, black bow!
Please note that Gwen Dickey will not perform in Liverpool, whilst Jaki Graham will not perform in Edinburgh.
As well as standard tickets, there are a limited number of “An Audience With” tickets available for each performance. This experience offers premium front-row seat ticket holders the unique chance of a behind-the-scenes experience with some of the stars of the show, the chance to watch the soundcheck for 30 minutes, a Q&A with the artists, the opportunity to take photos at the front of the stage, and a signed programme. This experience lasts from 5:30 until 6PM (times may vary). Questions need to be submitted by email at least 48 hours prior to the show date using the name of the city you are attending the show, i.e. [email protected] Please include a photo of your ticket.
Giants of Soul comes to Bridgewater Hall on 8th September, touring the UK until 4th October.