Music » Critics' Picks

Trey Songz/Monica

8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20. Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard.



Conventional wisdom is that today's dog-eat-dog musical world doesn't permit a major-label artist to slowly build a fan base in the limelight. That ignores the story of Virginia's Tremaine Neverson, however. Otherwise known as mainstream R&B singer Trey Songz, he survived middling sales of his first two albums to strike gold on his third release, last year's Ready. And he's parlayed multiple mixtapes, savvy collaborations (like one with Internet sensation Drake) and big breaks (a 2009 opening spot for Jay-Z) into his own headlining outing with Monica — dubbed the "Passion, Pain and Pleasure Tour," in honor of his forthcoming fourth release.