Rolling Out

In final tour, Frankie Beverly leaves it all on stage

The legendary singer gave a masterclass on longevity in the music industry and the community
Frankie Beverly
Frankie Beverly (Photo credit: Torian Priestly for rolling out)

Keep peddling the gas until the tank hits E.

For Frankie Beverly, sharing his passion for music with the world has been an all-out, lifelong commitment that he is still married to until the end of his 2024 farewell tour.

After the Frankie Beverly & Maze band got the crowd on its feet in the introduction, the legendary singer hit the stage in his signature all-white outfit, consisting of white pants, shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and a ball cap. After decades of performing all around the world, his posture is slightly hunched over more and his voice is strained for multiple nights on the road — but this night is all about honor.

Less than a week ago in Los Angeles, Beverly was honored for his lifelong dedication to the craft that has touched millions on the planet at the NAACP Image Awards. Back to March 22 in Atlanta, the crowd remains on their feet for the entirety of the set. It’s a live party for Beverly supporters around the South with Beverly on the microphone for one last time in front of them. Beverly doesn’t let his current physical or vocal limitations stop him from giving something many buzzing musicians 40-60 years younger than him severely lack: effort.

As the night progressed, it felt very similar to watching Kobe Bryant’s final game. The beginning of the concert showed the obvious effort, but the touch that was once there appeared to have faded. However, like that final game, the team — Beverly and the band — continued to play. And Beverly, like Bryant, made some free throws with the songs — and then began to show flashes of the singer the world came to adore. The set continued to go on. The people kept dancing to the timeless tunes, and Beverly’s voice had fleeting moments of returning to his trademark tenor. He didn’t give up. Each time he turned to his band to wipe the sweat off of his face off, a big screen played a montage of some of his greatest on-stage moments.

The city of Atlanta gave Beverly the Phoenix Award, the highest honor for a citizen in the metropolitan area. After the show, he spent some time saying hello to people like Deanna Brown Thomas, who is James Brown’s daughter. Beverly also received a custom-made jersey from the Atlanta Hawks and then met every person who waited for him in the media room after the show.

After creating the theme songs of Black cookouts, weekend house cleaning sessions, summer drives and college parties for decades, Beverly is receiving his well-deserved flowers on his last tour — and is all smiles about it.

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