Two days after he pulled the plug on the Best of Both Worlds Tour, Jay-Z has announced that it’s back on, but without R. Kelly. Pinch-hitting for the R&B superstar will be various special guests on what has been re-christened the Jay-Z and Friends Tour. Taking the stage with Jay-Z for Friday night’s show at American Airlines Arena will be P. Diddy and Mary J. Blige.
Kelly has been off the tour since last Friday night’s show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, when he left the stage, claiming he saw a pair of men open their coats in a manner that suggested that they had guns. Security searched the crowd and found no guns, but when Kelly was returning to the stage he was allegedly attacked with pepper spray by a member of Jay-Z’s entourage. Kelly was treated for his injuries at St. Vincent’s Hospital and released.
Jay-Z performed the final New York shows on Saturday and Monday night with special guests including Blige, P. Diddy, Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dogg and Method Man.
In originally scrapping the tour earlier this week, Jay-Z’s camp blamed Kelly’s “lack of professionalism and unpredictable behavior.” Kelly responded by filing a $75 million suit against Jay-Z, accusing the rapper of sabotaging the tour.
Jay-Z and Kelly’s second collaborative CD, Unfinished Business, topped the nation’s album chart this week, selling 215,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.