The O’Jays are bidding farewell to their fans and announcing their final tour, Last Stop On The Love Train.
Named after their 1974 single, “Love Train,” the tour will allow fans to see original members Eddie Levert and Walter Williams, alongside Eric Nolan Grant (who joined in 1995) together onstage as they glide through their deep, storied catalog from the past six decades.
Levert shared in a statement, “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. 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 together over the past 60 years, one last time.”
Williams added, “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. 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.”
Tour dates will be shared “very soon,” but in the meantime, the men are set to perform at the AFRAM Festival in Baltimore during Juneteenth weekend and at the Cincinnati Music Festival in July.
The O’Jays released their final album, aptly titled The Last Word in 2019. It was co-produced by the late Betty Wright.
When speaking on the album’s political undertones and direct messages regarding social injustice, Levert told VIBE, “I think the younger artists are too afraid to hurt their fanbase by taking a stand. They’re too afraid to offend or think, ‘It’s not my fight. Things have changed, we don’t need to address that.’ Things are not gonna change as long as you don’t speak out on it. If you just keep letting things go on and you never have anything to say, they will continue to go that way.”
The O’Jays’ lengthy catalog includes 31 albums—nine of which are platinum and ten of which are gold—and 10 No. 1 singles including “Back Stabbers,” “For The Love Of Money,” “Use Ta Be My Girl,” and “Family Reunion.”
They’ve also influenced countless hip-hop and soul acts as heard in Heavy D & The Boyz’s “Now That We Found Love,” Big Pun’s “I’m Not A Player,” Drake’s “Fake Love,” Erykah Badu’s “Otherside of the Game,” and Total’s “Tell Me.”
In 2005, they were inducted into both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. In 2009, they were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards and inducted into the R&B Music Hall of Fame in 2013.