Ella Mai on Her First Headlining Tour in Four Years: Interview

Ella Mai on Her First Headlining Tour in Four Years: Interview


When Ella Mai walked the red carpet at the 61st Grammy Awards in 2019, she had already won Best R&B Song at the premiere ceremony for the chart-topping single “Boo’d Up.” 

The British singer was also gearing up for her headlining Debut Tour that spring to support of her 2018 self-titled debut album.

It was a similar situation for Mai at the 2023 Grammy Awards. She appeared on the red carpet in a one-shoulder black gown from Monsoori. Rocking a finger waves hairdo, she was accented in a simple yet elegant white gold necklace and earrings from Tiffany & Co.’s Tiffany T jewelry collection.

Hours before Mai faced the press for questions and photos, Best Traditional R&B Performance, the category in which she was nominated with Babyface, was announced at the premiere ceremony.

Their hit collaboration, “Keeps On Fallin’,” marked her first time getting noticed in this category and the R&B legend’s first nod in eight years. They didn’t win, as the award went to “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA” by Beyoncé.

Still, Mai was all smiles when she joined the virtual red carpet space. She fielded a few questions, one from Rated R&B, about her upcoming headlining Heart On My Sleeve Tour, which she announced a week prior.

Mai introduced songs from her sophomore record on last fall’s Good Morning Gorgeous Tour, headlined by Mary J. Blige, nominated for six awards at the 65th Grammy Awards. It was an experience that she was grateful for.

“It’s always amazing to be able to support on any type of tour. Mary is one of my favorites of all time, and I also had her on my album. So when they asked me to do that, it was a no-brainer,” Mai told Rated R&B.

On March 31, Mai will launch her spring tour in Wallingford, Connecticut. She is thrilled to return in front of audiences as the main act, hinting at what could be a different concert than what fans witnessed last September through October.

“To be able to headline my own tour and get back out to my fans and perform a body of work that’s so important to me, it’s going to be really exciting,” she shared.

“We haven’t toured by myself in four years, so my band is excited to be back together and just really feel that energy from my fans and the crowd and be able to perform new music.”

Special guests have yet to be announced for Mai’s headlining tour. However, she said it’s being worked out. “I think we have, but I’m not entirely sure,” she noted.

Mai released Heart On My Sleeve (Deluxe Edition) just three days ahead of the Grammys. The new version included three new tracks in addition to those songs that appeared on the standard album, including the No. 1 single “DFMU.”

The original version of Heart On My Sleeve placed No. 10 on Rated R&B’s 30 Best R&B Albums of 2022 list.