Flying under the local music radar amid all the Lowell Summer Music Series and regional summer concert announcements, a great R&B double-bill is coming to the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell later this month.
"The King & The Princess of R&B Tour," Keith Sweat and Monica co-headline the May 19 show with special guest Ralph Tresvant. The show has a start time of 6 p.m. (doors open at 5), so get there early to catch what looks like a great night of music.
Tickets are $204, $129, $114, $83 and $53 each and are available at www.tsongascenter.com.
Sweat has dominated the R&B/hip-hop charts for the better part of his impressive career dating all the way back to his 1987 debut album, "Make It Last Forever," which went triple-platinum and peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard album chart. His first six albums all went platinum or better. His 2000 album, "Didn't See Me Coming," made it to No. 6 and went gold while the five albums after that all made it to the top 40 of the Billboard album chart.
That's jaw-dropping to have that level of success early in your career and sustain it for so long.
Sweat is by no means an album act, however. He has had six chart-topping singles on the R&B chart among an eye-popping 26 singles that have made the top 40 of the same chart.
But Sweat hasn't been limited to the R&B chart as a singles artist, either. His debut single, "I Want Her," reached No. 5 on the pop singles chart while 1990's "Make You Smart" made No. 14, "I'll Give All My Love to You" made No. 7 and 1991's "Keep It Comin'" made No. 17. Oh, and a pair of 1996 singles, "Twisted" and "Nobody," made it to No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
His 1998 single "Come and Get With Me," featuring Snoop Dogg, made it to No. 12, and his final top 40 single, "I'm Not Ready," made it to No. 16 in 1999.
He also collaborated with Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill as LSG, releasing a pair of albums in 1997 and 2003.
Not to be outdone, Monica is the first artist to top the Billboard Hot R&B/Hot Hip-Hop Songs chart in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.
She has placed seven albums in the top 40 of the Billboard album chart, all of them placing in the top 7 of the Billboard R&B/hip-hop album chart.
She has had nine top 40 pop singles, including "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)," "Like This and Like That" and "Before You Walk Out of My Life" in 1995, "Why I Love You So Much" and "Ain't Nobody" in 1996 and "For You I Will" in 1997.
That all led to her first chart-topping pop single, "The Boy Is Mine" with Brandy in 1998, followed atop the charts by "The First Night" and "Angel of Mine." She later charted with "So Gone" in 2003 and "U Should've Known Better" in 2004.
Like Sweat, she has also placed six songs atop the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.
Tresvant is a Roxbury native who is the lead singer of New Edition, the '80s boy band that also features Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe (who went on to form Bell Biv DeVoe), Bobby Brown and Johnny Gill, who replaced Brown in the 1980s but is now with Brown in the band.
Tresvant hit it big with a pair of solo singles in 1990-91 -- "Sensitivity," which made it to No. 4 on the pop singles chart, and "Stone Cold Gentleman" which made it to No. 34.