Neo-soul singer Jill Scott and her business partner got busy this year designing the perfect tour package for her. What they came up with: hitting the road with Maxwell.
And why not?
Maxwell's big comeback last year, after a long hiatus, led to a hit CD, Grammy awards and a largely sold-out arena tour.
Adding Scott, a Grammy winner and hit maker with "Hate on Me" and "The Way" to her credit, would be the icing on an already heavily glazed cake.
"We thought that would be a nice collaboration because there's so much musicality there," Scott said. "That's a dying breed with so much Auto-Tune and stage shows without any musicians whatsoever. So we thought about who's doing it the best right now."
Scott's people contacted Maxwell's people, and it soon became the R&B tour of the season. Philly native Scott and Maxwell stop at her hometown venue the Wachovia Center on June 17. Tickets are $57-$152 (800-298-4200, www.
"This tour is all about energy and music," she said. "It's a great night for music lovers. And everyone wants to shake a little tail feather or feel romantic, whatever the case may be."
Scott's not revealing too many show secrets, however. "I want people to just come to the show and enjoy themselves. My set list changes again and again. I'm different, and I want to express it all."
To jam the most music into her set, the focus will be on songs, not costumes, Scott said. "I have three albums - almost four hours of music to choose from - and I have 70 minutes [to perform] here.
"So don't expect me to be changing clothing and doing new hair. I don't have time for all that. This is about the music, the energy."
The show transitions nicely from her set to Maxwell's, she said: "All this estrogen, and then all that testosterone."
Meanwhile, continuing problems with her label, Hidden Beach Recordings, have delayed the release of her "The Light of the Sun" album, which has been pushed to later this year on a label to be determined.
Scott said she's also about 40 percent done with a new project. "I'm taking time," she said. "I'm a wood-burning oven, not a microwave. The more time I take, the better."
Scott promised that the new album will reveal her inherent love of hip-hop.
"I'm really a hip-hop girl and always have been," Scott said. "This is the favorite album of mine. This is it, where I've been trying to go for a long time."
Scott also has kept busy with her acting career: two Tyler Perry movies, an episode of "Law & Order: SVU," "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" on HBO and the Lifetime movie "Sins of the Mother."
"It's been a real blessing," she said.
Though her biggest role has been as Sheila in Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" movies, Scott's portrayal of an abusive sister on "SVU" was her favorite role.