The Irish singer/songwriter was the one on stage when Britney Spears and fellow Irishman Colin Farrell were caught snogging at Rice’s show in January. The two may have snagged the headlines then, but it’s Rice’s turn in the limelight now.

After testing the waters with a smattering of dates earlier this year, Rice is launching a full assault on North American theatres and clubs starting September 10. The tour is preceded by dates on the European festival circuit, including a couple on the East Coast of the States.

After wrapping things in Los Angeles October 4, Rice heads back across the sea for a U.K. tour, keeping him wooing crowds through the month.

Comparisons to David Gray and Jeff Buckley abound, yet Rice is definitely his own artist, out to do his own thing. He told Rolling Stone, “I got into a big fight with the record company over the direction of the music. They’d promised me freedom on the second single, but I was brought into the office and told, ‘This is what you’re doing.'”

Rice took things into his own hands and ditched the label to start his own. With the vocal backing of Lisa Hannigan, who will also perform on tour, Rice cranked out O in 2002. The album spent the better part of the year on Irish music charts and its popularity is steadily making its way across the Atlantic.