Paradigm
September 07, 2016 at 05:39 PM EDT

Mary J. Blige and Maxwell went bold with the title of their upcoming run of performances, The King and Queen of Hearts World Tour — and for good reason. 

“We say this with all humility, but we also say it with confidence,” Blige tells EW. “Because it’s what we earned. Blood, sweat, and tears.”

Sweat especially: Blige has released 12 records since her 1992 debut, while Maxwell has five studio albums to his name, the most recent being this year’s blackSUMMERS’night. Blige’s last was 2014’s The London Sessions, though she’s prepping to release a new collection soon. But that takes time — as Blige says, “Being Mary J. Blige is real.

“It’s traumatic, and it’s beautiful,” she explains. “Because my life, I actually have to live out what I’m singing.” Maxwell agrees that it’s “uniquely the same for him,” and adds that “it’s cathartic” to perform these intimate songs on stage.

“It’s going to be a very beautiful chess game on stage, and the queen has all the moves,” Maxwell teases. “I feel like we’re going to be able to magnify each other and take people to where they need to be in an emotional way, especially in a time where we have so much political unrest. It’s kind of wild out there.”

See the tour dates, featuring opener Ro James, below.

The King and Queen of Hearts US Tour Dates:

November 5: Baltimore, MD / Royal Farms Arena

November 6: Washington, DC / Verizon Center

November 9: Philadelphia, PA / Wells Fargo Center

November 10: New York, NY / Madison Square Garden

November 12: St. Louis, MO / Scottrade Center**

November 14: Toronto, ON / Air Canada Centre

November 16: Cleveland, OH / Quicken Loans Arena

November 18: Detroit, MI / The Palace of Auburn Hills

November 19: Indianapolis, IN / Bankers Life Fieldhouse**

November 20: Memphis, TN / FedEx Forum

November 22: Charlotte, NC / Time Warner Cable Arena

November 23: Richmond, VA / Richmond Coliseum

November 25: Atlanta, GA / Philips Arena**

November 26: Greensboro, NC / Greensboro Coliseum

November 29: Miami, FL / AmericanAirlines Arena

December 1: New Orleans, LA / Smoothie King Center

December 2: Dallas, TX / American Airlines Center

December 3: Houston, TX / Toyota Center**

December 6: Los Angeles, CA / The Forum

December 7: Oakland, CA / Oracle Arena

December 9: Las Vegas, NV / T-Mobile Arena 

December 11: Bossier City, LA/ CenturyLink Center

December 12: Kansas City, MO / Sprint Center

December 14: Chicago, IL / United Center

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