Prince announced plans for an upcoming tour as well as news of his forthcoming Musicology album before a group of 400 fan club members and press corps at Los Angeles' El Rey Theater today.
Prince said the notion behind the new album is that people should be aware that "the music comes before the 'ology.' God comes first with everything I do, but when it comes to our business we try to let the music dictate what comes next."
Though Musicology is complete, the record does not yet have a release date, primarily because Prince doesn't yet have a label. Despite rumors that he'd re-signed with Warner Bros. (the label that prompted Prince to publicly deem himself an artistic slave), Prince announced that he would be asking all of the major labels to release the album at once. "I might be a little crazy," he said, "but the notion is that everyone should get a piece of the pie."
As for the tour, it begins at the Staples Center in L.A. on March 29th, exactly two weeks after he's inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York. "I'm not much for awards," he said, "but an honor is just that and I appreciate when anybody shows respect."
Twenty-six dates have been confirmed for the tour, but Prince promised, "We're going to go around the world and back." He will also headline the Essence Festival July 2nd and he will also participate in Tiger Woods' annual Tiger Jam charity event, which is usually held in Las Vegas, Memorial Day weekend.
The tour will mark his first in six years with New Power Generation as his backing band. A press release suggested that the shows would mark the last time Prince would play some of his best-known hits, but he clarified, "We'll be performing them in a big way for the last time, at least for a while, to allow room for new music."
Prince and the NPG performed a mini-set during the hour-long press conference, retooling such memorable tracks as "Kiss," "Sign 'O' the Times," and "Take Me With U." He said one of the goals of the tour was "to bring back music and live musicianship."
Prince tour dates:
3/29: Los Angeles, Staples Center
3/31: Phoenix, Glendale Arena
4/2: Dallas, American Airlines Center
4/6: Oklahoma City, Ford Center
4/7: Omaha, NE, Qwest Center
4/8: Ames, IA, Hilton Coliseum
4/10: Champaign, IL, Assembly Hall
4/12: Indianapolis, Conseco Fieldhouse
4/13: Cincinnati, U.S Bank Arena
4/14: Pittsburgh, Mellon Arena
4/16: Columbus, OH, Value City Arena/Schottenstein Center
4/17: Cleveland, Gund Arena
4/18: State College, PA, Bryce Jordan Center
4/21: Columbia, SC, Colonial Center
4/22: Knoxville, TN, Thompson-Boling Arena
4/23: Raleigh, NC, RBC Center
4/25: Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Office Depot Center
4/26: Tampa, FL, St. Pete Times Forum
4/27: Jacksonville, FL, Veterans Memorial Arena
4/29: Birmingham, AL, BJCC Coliseum
4/30: Atlanta, Philips Arena
5/1: Biloxi, MI, Mississippi Coast Coliseum
5/4: Kansas City, MO, Kemper Arena
5/5: St. Louis , MO, Savvis Center
5/6: Nashville, TN, Gaylord Entertainment Center
6/12: Bossier City, LA, CenturyTel Center