Michael Jackson was and still is the biggest entertainer of all time!
Millions of people had the chance to see him on Tour and here the list of Michael Jackson Solo tours:
BAD WORLD TOUR – September 12, 1987 – January 27, 1989 (Worldwide)
Bad was the first ever solo concert tour by Michael Jackson, launched in support of his seventh studio album Bad (1987). Sponsored by Pepsi and spanning 16 months, the tour included 123 concerts to 4.4 million fans across 15 countries making it the second highest grossing tour of 1988. When the tour concluded it grossed a total of $125 million, adding two new entries in the Guinness World Records for the largest grossing tour in history and the tour with the largest attended audience. In April 1989, the tour was nominated for “Tour of the Year 1988” at the inaugural International Rock Awards.
First leg (1987)
On June 29, 1987, Jackson’s manager Frank DiLeo announced the singer’s plan to embark on his first solo world concert tour. Sponsored by Pepsi, the tour began in Japan, marking Michael Jackson’s first performances in the country since 1973 as part of The Jackson 5. The first nine scheduled concerts that began on September 12 sold out within hours, and five more were added due to high demand. Over 600 journalists, cameramen and fans waited for Michael Jackson’s arrival to the country at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. His pet chimpanzee Bubbles, who took a separate flight, was greeted by more than 300 people. A chartered jumbo jet was used to carry 22 truckloads of equipment, along with Michael Jackson’s entourage of 132 for the tour. The stage set used 700 lights, 100 speakers, 40 lasers, three mirrors and two 24-by-18 foot screens. Performers wore 70 costumes, four of which were attached with fiber optic lights.
While in Tokyo, Australian pop music critic Ian “Molly” Meldrum conducted an exclusive interview Jackson and DiLeo that was featured on 60 Minutes in the United States. On September 18, Michael Jackson was handed the Key to the City by Yasushi Oshima, the mayor of Osaka. He was accompanied by Bubbles, who was the first animal allowed inside the city’s town hall. Michael Jackson dedicated his Japanese concerts to Yoshiaki Hagiwara, a five-year-old boy who was kidnapped and murdered, and gave £12,000 to the parents of Hagiwara. Attendance figures for the first 14 dates in Japan totalled a record-breaking 450,000. Crowds of 200,000 were what past performers could manage to draw for a single tour. Nippon Television was a co-sponsor with Pepsi for the Japanese dates.
Michael Jackson performed five concerts in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in Australia in November. While off stage, he spent time visiting sick children at their homes in the Sydney suburbs.
Second leg (1988–1989)
Rehearsals for the tour’s 1988 leg took place at the Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, Florida from January 22 to February 18, 1988. Vincent Paterson, who had worked with Michael Jackson on several videos, was brought in to choreograph and co-direct the tour with Michael. On the last day of preparation, Jackson allowed 420 school pupils to watch him rehearse after the children made him a rap music video in his honour. The first performances were to begin in Atlanta, Georgia, yet Pepsi officials objected as the city was home to rival drinks company Coca-Cola. For both Atlanta shows, Jackson gave 100 tickets to the Children’s Wish Foundation for terminally ill children. The first of three concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City in March served as a benefit to raise $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund. Michael Jackson presented a check of $600,000 to the fund. On March 2, 1988, Jackson performed at the 30th Annual Grammy Awards, receiving an enormous standing ovation after performing “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Man in the Mirror”. Michael Jackson’s album, Bad was also nominated for Album of the Year at the ceremony.
Michael Jackson began his European tour in Rome at the Flaminio Stadium on May 23, 1988. Police and security guards rescued hundreds of fans from being crushed in the crowd of 30,000. Police reported 130 women fainted at the concert in Vienna on June 2. On June 17, Jackson travelled to the town of Vevey to meet Oona O’Neill, the widow of comic actor Charlie Chaplin. “I have fulfilled my biggest childhood dream”, said Jackson after the visit. The most successful of the European dates were those in London at Wembley Stadium. Ticket demand for the five July dates exceeded 1.5 million, enough to fill the 72,000 capacity venue 20 times. Jackson performed seven sold out shows, beating the previous record held by Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Genesis. More shows could have been added, but the venue had reached its quota for live performances. The third concert on July 16 was attended by Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles. On September 8, Jackson was entered into the Guinness World Records, the first of three times from the tour alone. The Wembley shows were attended by a record 504,000 people. Management also presented him with a special award. On July 30, NBC aired Michael Jackson Around the World, a 90-minute special documenting the singer on tour. On August 29, after a birthday performance in Leeds, Michael Jackson donated $130,000 to Give For Life. The final European show was held in Liverpool on September 11, staged at Aintree Racecourse. 1,550 fans were reported injured among the crowd of 125,000.
In September 1988, Michael Jackson toured the United States for the second time. On October 23, he donated $125,000, the net proceeds to first show in Detroit, to the city’s Motown Museum. The American tour alone grossed a total of $20.3 million, the sixth largest of the year.
Nine performances in Tokyo were held to conclude the tour on December 26, 1988. During the December 11 show in Tokyo, nine-year-old Ayana Takada was selected to receive a certificate by Michael Jackson to commemorate the four millionth person to attend the tour.
In 15 months, Michael Jackson performed 123 concerts in 15 countries to an audience of 4.4 million for a total gross of $125 million. Guinness World Records recognized the tour as the largest grossing in history and the tour to play to the most people ever.
DANGEROUS WORLD TOUR – June 27, 1992 – November 11, 1993 (Worldwide)
The Dangerous World Tour was the second worldwide solo tour by American recording artist Michael Jackson. The tour, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, included 69 performances. All profits were donated to various charities including Jackson’s own “Heal the World Foundation”. The tour ran from June 27, 1992, to November 11, 1993.
Following the huge success of the Bad world tour, Jackson’s first solo world tour, where he earned over $125 million, the star claimed that he would not tour again, and would instead concentrate on making films and records. On February 3, 1992 in a Pepsi press conference, it was announced that Jackson would be touring again. The announcement coincided with a new deal between Jackson and Pepsi, with a reported $20 million deal to sponsor the tour.
In an interview, Jackson stated, “The only reason I am going on tour is to raise funds for the newly formed Heal the World Foundation, an international children’s charity, that I am spearheading to assist children and the ecology. My goal is to gross $100 million by Christmas 1993. I urge every corporation and individual who cares about this planet and the future of the children to help raise money for the charity. The Heal the World Foundation will contribute funds to paediatric AIDS in honour of my friend, Ryan White. I am looking forward to this tour because it will allow me to devote time to visiting children all around the world, as well as spread the message of global love, in the hope that others will be moved to do their share to help heal the world.”
“Michael’s show, I loved,” said Janet Jackson. “The only thing – and I told him – that I wish he had done was to play more songs from the new album. And I wish he had played ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’. He goes, ‘I know, Jan, and the other brothers told me that, but you know what? I was really pressed for time.’ And that’s the thing, when you become so busy. So it was pretty much the same show as he’s been doing for some time.”
The original set list for the 1992 leg featured “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Bad”, but these were taken out after the eighth concert in Oslo, Norway. However, these two songs were returned for the first six performances in Tokyo, Japan.
During the Europe leg in 1992, MTV was allowed to film backstage and broadcast six fifteen-minute episodes of the tour. The show was called The Dangerous Diaries and was presented by Sonya Saul. MTV released footage of “Billie Jean” and “Black Or White” at the first show in Munich. “Billie Jean” was released with 2 different versions, one by MTV as a special, and the other on the Dangerous Diaries documentary. Both versions have placed a snippet of Jackson’s original a cappella recording for “Billie Jean” over the live vocals when Jackson throws his fedora.
Michael Jackson sold the film rights to his October 1, 1992 concert in Bucharest, Romania to HBO for $21 million. The deal was the highest ever paid for a live concert. The concert was broadcast live on radio and shown on television across 61 countries, and received the highest TV ratings in the history of the HBO network, in which Jackson was honoured with a CableACE Award. In 2004, the concert was released on DVD as part of Jackson’s The Ultimate Collection box set. It was released again in 2005 as the separate DVD Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour. The footage used on the released version is actually a mixture of footage from Bucharest – The BBC Broadcast, HBO live telecast (pay per view) and the HBO TV version. The Dangerous tour was met with some backlash by music critics and fans because of Jackson’s increased habit of lip syncing his live performances. The Toulouse, France concert performed on September 16, 1992 featured a special instrumental performance of the first half of the song “In the Closet” as an interlude between the songs “Heal the World” and “Man in the Mirror”. Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, who was the “Mystery Girl” in the actual song, was in attendance at this concert. This concert marked the first and only time that this song was performed during this tour.
On December 31, 1992 during the New Year’s Eve concert in Tokyo, Japan, Slash made a special guest appearance for the performance of “Black or White”. Slash also made a special appearance for “Black or White” at the concert in Oviedo, Spain in September 1992.
On 29 August, Jackson performed in front of 47,000 on his 35th birthday in Singapore.
During his visit to Moscow in September, Jackson came up with the song “Stranger in Moscow” which would be released on his 1995 album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It was during a time when Jackson felt very alone, far away from his family and friends, yet every night throughout his tours fans would stay by his hotel and support him.
Super Bowl XXVII halftime show
Unlike many previous years, Jackson was the only performer in the entire Super Bowl XXVII halftime show. The show started with Jackson dancing on certain jumbotrons, followed by impersonators that posed on top of the screen, which gave the illusion of Jackson moving from one side of the stadium to the other. Then Michael Jackson himself catapulted on stage and simply stood frozen in front of the audience.
Jackson’s set consist of a medley: “Jam” (with the beginning of “Why You Wanna Trip on Me”), “Billie Jean” and “Black or White”. The finale featured an audience card stunt, a video montage showing Jackson participating in various humanitarian efforts around the world, and a choir of 3,500 local Los Angeles area children singing “We Are the World”, later joining Michael Jackson as he sang his single “Heal the World”.
It was the first Super Bowl where the audience figures actually increased during the half-time show. The selection of Michael Jackson for the halftime show was in response to sagging interest in recent performances, notably in the two years immediately prior. The NFL and FOX network officials decided it was necessary to sign top acts for the halftime in future years to boost future viewership and interest. The NFL donated $100,000 to Michael Jackson’s Heal the World Foundation.
HISTORY WORLD TOUR – September 7, 1996 – October 15, 1997 (Worldwide)
The HIStory World Tour was the third and final worldwide solo concert tour by American artist Michael Jackson, covering Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and North America. The tour included a total of 83 concerts and was attended by approximately 4.5 million fans, beating his previous Bad World Tour with 4.4 million. The HIStory World Tour spanned the globe with stops in 58 cities, 35 countries on 5 continents.
In 1996, Jackson performed a free concert at the Jerudong Park Amphitheatre in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei on 16 July 1996. The concert was in celebration of the fiftieth birthday of Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei and was attended by the Brunei royal family.
Jackson performed a concert at Letna Park in Prague, one of Jackson’s largest single attended concerts in his career. On October 7, 1996, he performed for the first time ever in Africa in front of 60,000 fans in Tunis in a solo tour. During the tour’s stopover in Sydney, Australia, he married his wife (later ex-wife), Debbie Rowe in a private and impromptu ceremony. He was interviewed by Molly Meldrum In Brisbane. On January 3 and 4, 1997 Jackson only performed two concerts in North America. He did not perform in the USA mainland, but rather in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Aloha Stadium to a crowd of 35,000 each.
The second leg started on May 31, 1997 at the Weserstadion in Bremen, Germany. Set list changes included the addition of “Blood on the Dance Floor” and later on the removal of the Off the Wall Medley and “The Way You Make Me Feel”. After, it was only during the first two concerts in Bremen and Cologne that Jackson donned a red jacket for “Blood on The Dance Floor,” which was later replaced with a blue jacket. “Blood on the Dance Floor” was taken off the set list after the concert in Oslo on August 19, 1997.
Also, Jackson performed at the Parken Stadium on his 39th birthday with 50,000 fans. He was presented with a surprise birthday cake, marching band, and fireworks on stage before the Jackson 5 Medley. Pro footage of this is found in Michael’s private home movies. The concert at Hippodrome Wellington of Ostend, Belgium was supposed to be held on August 31, 1997, but was postponed to September 3 following Princess Diana’s death.
MJ & Friends – June 25 & 27, 1999 (Seoul & Munich)
MJ & Friends were concerts held by the American recording artist Michael Jackson in 1999, with numerous other performers as well. The purpose of the tour was to raise funds for children in Kosovo, Africa and elsewhere. Jackson gave two concerts during the tour. The first one took place in Seoul, South Korea on June 25 and the second one was in Munich, Germany. In an interview with Thomas Gottshalk Jackson was joined by long-time collaborator Slash during the two concerts.
Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special – September 7 & 10, 2001 (New York)
The Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special was a 2001 New York City revue show by Michael Jackson. It took place on September 7, 2001 and September 10, 2001. In late November 2001, the CBS television network aired the concerts as a two-hour special in honor of Michael Jackson’s thirtieth year as a solo entertainer (his first solo single, “Got to Be There”, was recorded in 1971). The show was edited from footage of two separate concerts Michael had orchestrated in New York City’s Madison Square Garden on September 7 and September 10 of 2001. The shows sold out in five hours. Ticket prices were pop’s most expensive ever; the best seats cost $10,000 and included a dinner with Michael Jackson and a signed poster. Michael Jackson reportedly earned $7.5 million for each of the two concerts, which is over $150,000 per minute. The concert official Boxscore was $10,072,105 for both concerts.
To some fans, Jackson appeared more disoriented in the first concert as he only did one short moonwalk and improvised the ending of the Billie Jean performance. To explain Jackson’s disoriented appearance, David Gest claimed in his film Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon that Jackson was on drugs during the concerts. However, Jackson himself stated that he did not rehearse for the first concert. In Jermaine’s book You Are Not Alone: Michael Through a Brother’s Eyes, Jermaine Jackson stated that Michael was taking Demerol, a pain relieving medicine with psychotropic effects. The show attracted numerous celebrities such as Marc Anthony, Jill St. John, Ann Miller, Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Naomi Campbell, Monica, Janet Leigh, Liza Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor, Macaulay Culkin, Mýa, Natalie Cole, Chris Tucker, Samuel L. Jackson, Destiny’s Child, Jill Scott, Kenny Rogers, Gloria Estefan, Yoko Ono, Sam Harris, Angie Harmon, O-Town, Grant Hill, Robert Wagner and Tamia.
THIS IS IT – July 13, 2009 to March 6, 2010 (London)
This Is It was a planned residency show of fifty concerts by Michael Jackson to be held at The O2 Arena in London. They were scheduled to begin in July 2009 and continue through to March 2010. However, with all concerts sold out, Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest and died due to an overdose of propofol and benzodiazepine drugs, less than three weeks before the first concert was scheduled to begin. Jackson officially announced the concerts at a press conference held inside the O2 Arena and stated that This Is It was going to be his final series of concerts. AEG Live, the concert promoters, released a promotional video that took up an entire commercial break, setting a record for ITV. The shows were to be Jackson’s first major series of concerts since the HIStory World Tour finished in 1997, and had been cited as one of the most important musical events in history. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, stated that the first 10 dates alone would have earned the singer approximately £50 million.
Originally only 10 concerts were announced, but the tickets were sold out in less than an hour and the public demand for tickets resulted in 40 more concerts being added, making 50 in total. Ticket sales broke several records and AEG Live stated that Jackson could have sold out more shows (some even suggested as far as 200). Jackson’s album sales increased following the announcement. In preparation for the concert series, the pop singer had been collaborating with numerous high profile figures, such as fashion designer Christian Audigier, choreographer Kenny Ortega and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno. Prior to Jackson’s death, Allgood Entertainment sued the entertainer for $40 million, claiming that he had breached an exclusivity agreement with them by agreeing to the This Is It concerts. The case was later dismissed.
In light of Michael Jackson’s death, AEG Live offered either full refunds to all ticket holders or a special souvenir ticket designed by the entertainer. The cancelled shows, the record-breaking ticket sales and the potential for a world tour, made Jackson’s shows “the greatest concert[s] that never happened.” Columbia Pictures acquired the footage of the show rehearsals and made a concert film titled Michael Jackson’s This Is It. The Jackson estate received 90% of the profit made while the remaining 10% went to AEG Live. Columbia Pictures guaranteed at least $60 million for the rights. To coincide with the release of the concert footage, an accompanying album was released.
The announcement of Jackson’s first 10 performances was made by the singer himself, during a press conference at the O2 Arena on March 5, 2009. As many as 7,000 fans and 350 reporters awaited the singer’s arrival, many donning Jackson-related clothing. The singer commented at the conference, “I just wanted to say that these will be my final show performances in London. When I say this is it, it really means this is it”, adding that it was his “final curtain call”, although he may have just been referring to performing in London. Organizers touted the residency as, “dramatic shows [that] promise an explosive return with a band of the highest calibre, a state-of-the-art stage show and incredible surprise support acts”. Hours before the press conference, promotional posters for the residency were displayed around London. Further promotion took up an entire commercial break period on ITV London during Dancing on Ice, the first time this has ever happened for a musical artist. The advert, which cost £1 million to air, was viewed by 11 million people.
The shows, Michael Jackson’s first significant concert events since the HIStory World Tour in 1997, had been cited as one of the year’s most important musical events, and as the greatest comeback in the history of pop. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, stated that the first 10 dates would earn the singer approximately £50 million (about US$80.1 million). The Guardian characterized the announced 10 concerts as an “astonishing comeback for a man who in recent years has been dogged by controversy”, adding that the entertainer still had “enormous commercial clout”. The Evening Standard stated that the deal was the “showbiz coup of the decade” for AEG Live, while The Independent remarked that the finalized 50 concerts would provide London with a “much-needed” economic boost. Joe Cohen, chief executive of Seatwave, told BBC 6 Music that the shows would generate £1 billion for the economy.