MUSIC lovers may be in for a special treat this year if word from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) that America’s Pied Piper of R&B, R Kelly (real name Robert Sylvester Kelly), will perform at the Zimbabwe International Carnival is anything to go by.
The Zimbabwe International Carnival, which was launched last year in Harare, is expected to take place in May.
Speaking on the side-lines of the just-ended Jameson Victoria Falls Carnival, ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said plans were underway to bring the singer to Zimbabwe although they were in early stages.
“We are already working closely with people we have identified to help us bring R Kelly to the country and everything is going according to plan,” he said.
Kaseke said if all went according to plan, tickets to the show would be sold for as low as $10.
“The Zimbabwe International Carnival is an event for the general public so tickets to the show will be very affordable so as to enable the majority of Zimbabweans to witness the performance,” Kaseke said.
If the authority manages to clinch the deal, the multiple Grammy award winner will perform in Zimbabwe for the first time ever at the National Sports Stadium.
Last year, ZTA had planned to bring in Jamaican artistes and the Brazilian Samba dancers to the carnival, but all plans went into the drain as the artistes had commitments elsewhere.
R Kelly is known for a collection of major hit singles including Your Body’s Callin’, I Believe I Can Fly, Gotham City and the hip-opera Trapped in the Closet, among others.
In 1998, Kelly won three Grammy Awards out of five nominations for I Believe I Can Fly.
He has written, produced, and remixed songs and albums for many artists, including Aaliyah’s 1994 debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.
In 1996, he was nominated for a Grammy for writing Michael Jackson’s song You Are Not Alone.
In 2002 and 2004, Kelly released collaboration albums with rapper Jay-Z and has been a guest vocalist for other hip hop artists like Nas, Sean Combs, and Fat Joe.
Meanwhile, preparations for the 2014 Zimbabwe International Carnival are already underway with groups and organisations interested in participating in the event being urged to register with the ZTA and start preparing their costumes and floats.