Warm welcome from fans for singer

Gareth Wilson

INTERNATIONAL R&B singer Tevin Campbell arrived in Port Elizabeth last night as part of his three- concert tour around South Africa.

Campbell, 36, who has also appeared in movies and a TV series, arrived shortly after 9pm, to be met by a small contingent of fans gathered at the airport entrance.

As he walked through the airport fans applauded and cameras clicked away.

Campbell, who has been off the music scene for almost two decades, shot to fame at the age of 13 with his hit single, I’m Ready.

“I am so excited to be here,” he said. “The response has been amazing and I am honoured to have such a warm welcome.”

Campbell said he was nervous ahead of his performance scheduled to take place at the Boardwalk tonight, but that he was looking forward to blowing the crowd away. “I always get nervous before a performance. It shows I care.”

Asked what he planned to sing at the event, he said: “Classics, lots of classics. I don’t want to leave anyone disappointed. I have material I am working on but that will be released with my new album.”

Boardwalk entertainment manager Caley Phillips – who met Campbell at the airport – said they expected a full house, with only 120 tickets left at that stage.

“It is basically sold out. The response has been great. This is the second international artist to perform at the Boardwalk International Conference Centre and we are expecting about 1500 people.”

Phillips said the singer’s arrival into Port Elizabeth had been kept “low-key”.

Platinum album singer Gino Lee Swanepoel, 17 – who will be part of tonight’s opening act – was one of the diehard fans waiting at the airport. “I am so excited to perform with such a talented artist. This is the first time I am performing with an international artist and I’m nervous as well as excited. It is really a dream come true,” he said.

Swanepoel returned from America two weeks ago where he was awarded a three-year scholarship at the New York Film Academy.

Other artists due to perform at the concert tonight are The Black Ties (Chad Saaiman, Lloyd Jansen and Keeno Lee), Robin P and MC Ashley Pienaar.

Campbell will be jetting out of Port Elizabeth tomorrow to Cape Town where he will perform on Saturday night before heading to Johannesburg on Sunday for the last performance of his tour.

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