In only six years, Anthony Hamilton has released three albums, gone platinum, gotten hitched, won a Grammy alongside an R&B legend (Al Green), and co-founded a record label with his wife, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at the soul crooner. Why? Because he’s played it so darn cool. Later this year, however, the Charlotte, N.C., native will take a step from behind the shadows with TASTE (Take a Step to Elevate), a video and text message campaign aimed at elevating and educating others about the benefits of eating right and living healthy.
But first, he’s illustrating the point of it all as he teams up with Musiq Soulchild and special guest Chrisette Michele to bring three times the cool factor on the Playin’ It Cool tour, a continuation of his 2008 tour of the same name. Halfway to his final stop, the soul arbiter calls in and gives Rap-Up.com the rundown on his dressing room must-haves, the West Coast tour stop that left him on crutches, and the one naughty habit he just can’t seem to kick.
1. Which qualities of your tourmates have you grown to admire?
Class and the rapport that they have with their fan base.
2. You were once the background singer for D’Angelo on his Voodoo tour. What was the most important thing you learned from that tour?
Make sure that you give your fans 180 percent. The music is the key element that keeps your fans coming back to you.
3. Where is your Grammy currently?
Right now, it’s in my bedroom, sitting on my wife’s jewelry canopy table, but I’ll put it in a case or something and get it together.
4. What’s the one thing you absolutely need before you step foot in your dressing room?
Mint gum [and] my clothes! Gotta make sure my wardrobe is there.
5. BlackBerry or iPhone?
BlackBerry. I like the Verizon World Edition. I never had an iPhone. It just seems like way too much going on. I’m pretty basic when it comes to gadgets.
6. What’s the first thing you’re going to do once this tour is over?
Make sure my money is correct, and then pay my tithes.
7. Did you have a workout regimen to prepare for this tour?
My show is so strenuous, that’s a workout. I just make sure to let my body know that we ’bout to start doing some cardio. I actually ended up hurting my knees, so I’m on crutches right now. I hurt them in Los Angeles. I was jumping about four feet in the air. That’s a jump I did from Mario Bros., and I came down the third time really hard.
8. Which artists would you buy front row tickets to see on tour?
Bill Withers and Tina Turner. I had fun watching Jay-Z’s tour with The Roots, so [I would also say] Jay-Z and The Roots.
9. How has the recession affected your spending habits?
I’m loaning more out! Yeah, we are saving more and we’re buying things that will benefit us more in the long run.
10. What’s one bad habit that you just can’t kick no matter how hard you try?
Making love to my wife. It’s not a bad habit, but I can’t kick it.
PLAYIN’ IT COOL TOUR DATES
6/18 New York, NY – WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden
6/19 Washington, DC – DAR Constitution Hall
6/21 Baltimore, MD – Pier Six Pavilion
6/25 Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre
6/26 Augusta, GA – Bell Auditorium
6/27 Birmingham, AL – BJCC Concert Hall
6/28 Charlotte, NC – Ovens Auditorium
For more information, visit playinitcooltour.blogspot.com