NEW YORK (Billboard) - Prince held a press conference Thursday evening at Harlem’s Apollo Theater to announce “Welcome 2 America,” a forthcoming tour beginning in December 2010.
The pop star will perform and play master of ceremonies at each show, which will feature a lineup including Janelle Monae, Mint Condition, Esperanza Spalding and Cassandra Wilson.
“Bring your friends, bring your children,” Prince said, “and bring foot spray, because it’s going to be funky.”
Prince appeared on the Apollo stage at 6:25, following an introduction by BET Executive Vice President of Entertainment & Music Programing Stephen Hill. Wearing a black velour jacket, the singer remained vague about the impending live shows but told the crowd that they would not disappoint.
“Come early, come often. I have a lot of hits ... no two shows will be the same,” he said.
It was also revealed that a gold-plated Fender guitar that sat on the Apollo stage during the announcement will be auctioned off after the run of live shows, with the proceeds benefiting the economic recovery group Harlem Empowerment Zone.