|Associated album Bad|
End date January 27, 1989
|Start date September 12, 1987|
Attendance 4.4 million
|No. of shows 54 in North America
41 in Europe
23 in Asia
5 in Australia
Box office US $125.8 million ($243.06 in 2017 dollars)
Bad was the first solo concert tour by American recording artist 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 the 80s. 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 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 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 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, 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. 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.
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 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, 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. 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". Jackson's album, Bad was also nominated for Album of the Year at the ceremony.
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 35,000. 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, 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, 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. The tour was planned to end in Tokyo, but Jackson suffered from swollen vocal cords after the first of six concerts in Los Angeles in November. The remaining five were rescheduled for January 1989. During the December 11 show in Tokyo, nine-year-old Ayana Takada was selected to receive a certificate by Jackson to commemorate the four millionth person to attend the tour.
Five performances in Los Angeles were held to conclude the tour on January 27, 1989. In 16 months, Jackson performed 127 concerts in 15 countries to an audience of 4.4 million for a total gross of $125 million. The American tour alone grossed a total of $20.3 million, the sixth largest of the year. Guinness World Records recognized the tour as the largest grossing in history and the tour to play to the most people ever. In April 1989, the tour was nominated for "Tour of the Year 1988" at the inaugural International Rock Awards. It lost to Amnesty International.
A live album and DVD of the July 16, 1988 concert in London titled Live at Wembley July 16, 1988 was released along with the special edition reissue of the Bad album titled Bad 25 on September 18, 2012, as well as a stand-alone DVD.