Wyclef Jean to tour in India


NEW DELHI -- Wyclef Jean will play three club dates on his upcoming tour of India, his first in the country.

Jean will open in Bangalore on April 16, followed by Pune (near Mumbai) on April 18. His run of dates will round off on April 19 in Mumbai.

The Hard Rock Cafe will host the gigs in all three cities. The venues have an average capacity of 800-1,000.

The dates are promoted by VH1 India, the international music channel of Mumbai-based MTV Networks India, under the "VH1 Handpicked" touring initiative.

The tour's principal sponsor is Bru Ice Cappuccino in association with Ray Ban, news portal IndiaTimes.com, FM station Radio City and multiplex chain Inox.

Sony BMG will release Jean's latest album "Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant" on the eve of the tour.

Mumbai-based Sony BMG Music India deputy GM Arjun Sankalia says the set will street April 12 in India, with 3,000 units shipped. "Though the album released worldwide in December 2007, we were planning the India release timed with Jean's first tour here," Sankalia said.

One of the album's tracks, "Hollywood Meets Bollywood (Immigration)," features rapper Chamillionaire and guest Bollywood composer Aadesh Shrivastava. "We are planning a major push for this track after the tour to further increase the album's exposure here," Sankalia added.

In a statement, Jean commented, "I have many Indian composers and artists that are dear friends. I have performed with them over the many years of my career as a solo artist and with the Fugees."

He added, "I have fallen in love with bhangra and other Indian folk influences over the past few years, and no matter where you are in the world, the audience loves it too."

"VH1 Handpicked" promoted former U.K. boy band Blue member Simon Webbe's three-city India tour in June 2007. VH1's other touring initiative "Hip Hop Hustle" brought out Interscope act Flipsyde in 2005, followed by G-Unit/Interscope duo Mobb Deep in 2006.