Iconic Grammy and NAACP Image Award-winning R&B group, The O’Jays, announced that they will be going on their final tour, titled “Last Stop On The Love Train.”
During the tour, fans will get a chance to see the group’s founding members, Eddie Levert and Walter Williams, alongside Eric Nolan Grant, who joined them in 1995, perform one last time. The trio will sing hits from The O’Jays’ extensive catalog that spans over sixty years.
“The reason that this is our last tour is because, between Eddie and I, our ages will be over 160 years old by the end of the tour,” Williams explained in a statement. “I will be 60, and Eddie… you can do the rest of the math. But really, we wanted one last tour to say goodbye to our friends, family, and fans, and ride The Love Train together, one last time.”
“Last Stop On The Love Train” was named after The O’Jays’ hit 1972 song “Love Train.” It reached the Billboard Hot 100 the following year and went on to become certified gold by the RIAA. The single was also the band’s first and only number one track on the U.S. pop chart.
Levert added that he initially planned to retire “quietly,” but his “fans and body” weren’t having it. Plus, performing keeps him and his group members in shape.
“I was thinking that I would quietly retire, but our fans and my body weren’t having it…The love and physical benefits of performing keeps us on the younger side of our age,” he said. “This tour is a celebration of all of our lives and the struggles and joys that got us to today. It is time for us to say goodbye, and we would like to do it in person. Please come join us as we play the music we have shared over the past 60 years, one last time.”
Tour dates have not officially been released yet, but The O’Jays are set to perform at Baltimore’s AFRAM Festival on Jun. 19 and at the Cincinnati Music Festival on July 23.
Levert and Williams formed The O’Jays in 1958, as the two were childhood friends-turned-best friends who loved singing. They created a duet and eventually invited other schoolmates to join the group: Bobby Massey, William Powell, and Bill Isles. The five then released their first song, “Lonely Drifter,” in 1963.
Since then, they moved on to become one of the greatest musical groups of all time, releasing timeless hits such as “Back Stabbers” (1972), “For The Love Of Money” (1973), “Family Reunion” (1975), “Livin’ For The Weekend” (1975), “Use Ta Be My Girl” (1978) and “Forever Mine” (1979).
The O’Jay’s spawned ten gold albums, nine platinum albums, and 10 no. 1 hits.
In 2005, they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and, eight years later, into the R&B Music Hall Of Fame.
In 2019, The O’Jays released their final album, titled The Last Word, which was co-produced by the late legendary R&B songstress Betty Wright. It was their first album in 15 years, as their previous album Imagination was released in 2004.
“It’s almost like having a bucket list,” Levert said about The Last Word. “We wanted to do an O’Jays album that’s fantastic from beginning to end. This project definitely does just that.”