BOW WOW: A Scream at Alltel.
The sponsors are calling it a “scream,” but such rising young stars as Omarion and Bobby Valentino will have some of the crowd swooning to ballads in the classic R&B style when BET’s Scream Tour IV: The Heartthrobs invades Alltel Arena on Thursday, Aug. 11.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Along with Omarion, who performed a few songs at Riverfest Amphitheatre on June 20 as part of a promotional show sponsored by Power 92, and newcomer Valentino, other scheduled performers are hip hop Bow Wow, Marques Houston, B5, 3on3 and Pretty Ricky. Omarion and Bow Wow will share the stage for an hour and 45 minutes, Marques Houston precedes those two, and Valentino has 20 minutes before Houston. B5, Pretty Ricky and opener 3on3 get three songs each in the show.
Tickets are $36.75 and $26.75 through Ticketmaster outlets (Harvest Foods stores, www.ticketmaster.com, 975-7575) or the arena box of-fice (975-9000).
The 23-year-old Valentino has been the most recent of the top acts to break on the scene as a solo artist after being a member of Atlanta-based Mista – designed as a modern day Temptations or a Boyz 2 Men-type harmonizing group – for several years. William Ingram discov-ered Valentino and signed him to the Disturbing the Peace label, which released his self-titled solo record.
“It’s going real good,” Valentino said from a tour stop in Detroit. “Everybody’s giving it their all every night. It’s cool. Everybody is in a lane of their own and there’s no jealously, no bad blood between anybody.”
Valentino describes himself as foremost an R&B singer but with the skill “to do anything.” He was born Bobby Wilson in Mississippi before his family moved to Atlanta. Growing up, Valentino says, he was exposed to songs by such greats as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Anita Baker and the Isley Brothers. He first learned the trumpet before he let his vocal cords become his instrument, he said.
His debut solo CD has spawned the hits “Tell Me” and “Slow Down,” as well as “Give Me a Chance,” which he sang with Ludacris. Valentino says he wrote all or parts of every song on the album.
“I have higher expectations for myself, but I think it’s gone pretty good for the most part,” he said. “I like the ballads. I can really sing easier on slower songs than on fast ones.”