The Bad World Tour was Michael Jackson's first solo concert tour. The tour lasted from September 12, 1987 to January 27, 1989.

The tour was later recognized as the most highly-attended & highly-earning tour of all time, having grossed over $125 million.

Michael visited fifteen countries and performed to over 4.4 million people. There were also several sold-out tours at London's Wembley Stadium (which attracted more than half a million people include the late Diana, Princess of Wales).

He set a new world record for playing more dates at Wembley Stadium than any other artist.

Tour BackgroundEdit

First Leg (1987)Edit

On June 29, 1987, Michael'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 his first performances in the country since 1973 touring as part of The Jackson 5.

The first nine scheduled concerts that began on September 12, 1987 sold out within hours, and five more were added due to high demand.

Over 600 journalists, cameramen and fans waited for Michael'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'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. The 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 Michael and DiLeo that was featured on 60 Minutes in the United States.

On September 18, 1987, Michael 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. He dedicated his Japanese concerts to Yoshiaki Hagiwara, a five-year-old boy who was kidnapped & 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 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 (1988-89)Edit

The 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, Michael 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, Michael 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 presented a check of $600,000 to the fund.

On March 2, 1988, Michael 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". His album, Bad was also nominated for "Album of the Year" at the ceremony.

Michael 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, 1988.

On June 17, 1988, he 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 Michael 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.

Michael 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, 1988 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, 1988, NBC aired "Michael Jackson Around the World", a 90-minute special documenting the singer on tour. On August 29, 1988 after a birthday performance in Leeds, Michael donated $130,000 to Give For Life.

The final European show was held in Liverpool on September 11, 1988 staged at Aintree Racecourse. 1,550 fans were reported injured among the crowd of 125,000.

In September of 1988, Michael 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 11th show in Tokyo, nine-year-old Ayana Takada was selected to receive a certificate by Michael to commemorate the four millionth person to attend the tour.

In the last concerts in L.A, Michael wore a white jacket for "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Man In The Mirror" instead of the usual blue jacket.

In 15 months, Michael performed 127 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.

Opening ActsEdit

  • Kim Wilde (Europe)
  • Taylor Dayne (Europe—Selected Dates)

Set ListEdit


  1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
  2. "Things I Do for You"
  3. "Off the Wall"
  4. "Human Nature"
  5. "This Place Hotel"
  6. "She's Out of My Life"
  7. The Jackson 5 Medley: "I Want You Back" / "The Love You Save" / "I'll Be There"
  8. "Rock with You"
  9. "Lovely One"
  10. "Bad Groove" (Interlude)
  11. "Workin' Day and Night"
  12. "Beat It"
  13. "Billie Jean"
  14. "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" (contain excerpts from "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough)"
  15. "Thriller"
  16. "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (duet with Sheryl Crow)
  17. "Bad"


  1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
  2. "Heartbreak Hotel"
  3. "Another Part of Me"
  4. "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (duet with Sheryl Crow)
  5. "She's Out of My Life"
  6. The Jackson 5 Medley: "I Want You Back" / "The Love You Save" / "I'll Be There"
  7. "Rock with You"
  8. "Human Nature"
  9. "Smooth Criminal"
  10. "Dirty Diana"
  11. "Thriller"
  12. "Bad Groove" (Interlude)
  13. "Workin' Day and Night"
  14. "Beat It"
  15. "Billie Jean"
  16. "Bad"


  1. "The Way You Make Me Feel"
  2. "Man in the Mirror"

Tour DatesEdit

Date City/Town Country Venue
First leg
September 12, 1987 Tokyo Japan Korakuen Stadium
September 13, 1987
September 14, 1987
September 19, 1987 Nishinomiya Hankyu Nishinomiya Stadium
September 20, 1987
September 21, 1987
September 25, 1987 Yokohama Yokohama Stadium
September 26, 1987
September 27, 1987
October 3, 1987
October 4, 1987
October 10, 1987 Osaka Osaka Stadium
October 11, 1987
October 12, 1987
November 13, 1987 Melbourne Australia Olympic Park Stadium
November 20, 1987 Sydney Parramatta Stadium
November 21, 1987
November 27, 1987 Brisbane Brisbane Entertainment Centre
November 28, 1987
Second leg
North America
February 23, 1988 Kansas City United States Kemper Arena
February 24, 1988
March 3, 1988 New York City Madison Square Garden
March 5, 1988
March 6, 1988
March 12, 1988 St. Louis St. Louis Arena
March 13, 1988
March 18, 1988 Indianapolis Market Square Arena
March 19, 1988
March 20, 1988 Louisville Freedom Hall
March 24, 1988 Denver McNichols Sports Arena
March 25, 1988
March 26, 1988
March 30, 1988 Hartford Hartford Civic Arena
March 31, 1988
April 1, 1988
April 8, 1988 Houston The Summit
April 9, 1988
April 10, 1988
April 13, 1988 Atlanta Omni Coliseum
April 14, 1988
April 15, 1988
April 19, 1988 Rosemont Rosemont Horizon
April 20, 1988
April 21, 1988
April 25, 1988 Dallas Reunion Arena
April 26, 1988
April 27, 1988
May 4, 1988 Minneapolis Met Center
May 5, 1988
May 6, 1988
May 23, 1988 Rome Italy Stadio Flaminio
May 24, 1988
May 29, 1988 Turin Stadio Olimpico di Torino
June 2, 1988 Vienna Austria Praterstadion
June 5, 1988 Rotterdam Netherlands Feijenoord Stadium
June 6, 1988
June 7, 1988
June 11, 1988 Gothenburg Sweden Eriksberg
June 12, 1988
June 16, 1988 Basel Switzerland St. Jakob Stadium
June 19, 1988 West Berlin Reichstag Grounds
June 27, 1988 Paris France Parc des Princes
June 28, 1988
July 1, 1988 Hamburg West Germany Volksparkstadion
July 3, 1988 Cologne Mungersdorfer Stadium
July 8, 1988 Munich Olympiastadion
July 10, 1988 Hockenheim Hockenheimring
July 14, 1988 London United Kingdom Wembley Stadium
July 15, 1988
July 16, 1988
July 22, 1988
July 23, 1988
July 26, 1988 Cardiff Cardiff Arms Park
July 30, 1988 Cork Ireland Páirc Uí Chaoimh
July 31, 1988
August 5, 1988 Marbella Spain Estadio Municipal de Marbella
August 7, 1988 Madrid Vicente Calderón Stadium
August 9, 1988 Barcelona Camp Nou
August 12, 1988 Montpellier France Stade Richter
August 14, 1988 Nice Stade Charles-Ehrmann
August 19, 1988 Lausanne Switzerland Stade olympique de la Pontaise
August 21, 1988 Würzburg West Germany Talavera Wiesen
August 23, 1988 Werchter Belgium Werchter Festival Grounds
August 26, 1988 London United Kingdom Wembley Stadium
August 27, 1988
August 29, 1988 Leeds Roundhay Park
September 2, 1988 Hanover West Germany Niedersachsenstadion
September 4, 1988 Gelsenkirchen Parkstadion
September 6, 1988 Linz Austria Linzer Stadion
September 10, 1988 Milton Keynes United Kingdom National Bowl
September 11, 1988 Aintree Aintree Racecourse
North America
September 26, 1988 Pittsburgh United States Civic Arena
September 27, 1988
September 28, 1988
October 3, 1988 East Rutherford Meadowlands Arena
October 4, 1988
October 5, 1988
October 10, 1988 Richfield Coliseum at Richfield
October 11, 1988
October 13, 1988 Landover Capital Centre
October 17, 1988
October 18, 1988
October 19, 1988
October 24, 1988 Auburn HIlls The Palace of Auburn Hills
October 25, 1988
October 26, 1988
November 7, 1988 Irvine Irvine Meadows Amphitheater
November 8, 1988
November 9, 1988
November 13, 1988 Los Angeles Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
December 9, 1988 Tokyo Japan Tokyo Dome
December 10, 1988
December 11, 1988
December 17, 1988
December 18, 1988
December 19, 1988
December 24, 1988
December 25, 1988
December 26, 1988
North America
January 16, 1989 Los Angeles United States Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
January 17, 1989
January 18, 1989
January 26, 1989
January 27, 1989

Broadcast RecordingsEdit

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.

Tour PersonnelEdit

Creative Directors

  • Michael Jackson (lead vocals, co-director, dancer and co-choreographer)
  • Peggy Holmes (Assistant Director)
  • Vince Paterson (Co-Director, Choreographer)
  • Tom McPhillips (Set Designer)
  • Allen Branton (Lighting Designer)


  • Frank Dileo (Personal Management)
  • Sal Bonafede (Tour Coordinator)
  • John Draper (Tour Manager)
  • Benny Collins (Production Manager)
  • Nelson Hayes (Production Coordinator)
  • Rob Henry (Production Coordinator)
  • Gerry Bakalian (Stage Manager)
  • Tait Towers, Inc. (Set Construction)
  • Clair Bros. (Sound)
  • Kevin Elison (house sound engineer)
  • Rick Coberly (Monitor Engineer)
  • Ziffren, Brittenham and Branca (Attorneys)
  • Gelfand, Rennert and Feldman (Business Management)
  • Solters/Roskin, Friedman Inc.(Public Relations)
  • Bob Jones (V.P. of Communications, MJJ)
  • Glen Brunman (Media Relations, Epic Records)
  • Gretta Walsh Of Revel Travel (Travel Agent)


  • Randy Allaire
  • Evaldo Garcia
  • Dominic Lucero
  • LaVelle Smith


  • Greg Phillinganes (Lead keyboards, synthesizers, musical director)
  • Rory Kaplan (keyboards, synthesizers)
  • Christopher Currell (Synclavier, digital guitar, sound effects)
  • Ricky Lawson (Drums)
  • Jennifer Batten (Rhythm and lead guitar)
  • Jon Clark (Lead and rhythm guitar)
  • Don Boyette (bass guitar, synth bass)

Background Vocals

  • Kevin Dorsey
  • Darryl Phinnessee (vocal director)
  • Dorian Holley
  • Sheryl Crow

Stylists and Assistant

  • Karen Faye (Hair & Make-up)
  • Tommy Simms (Stylist)
  • Gianni Versace, Dennis Tompkins & Michael Bush (Costumes Designed)
  • Jolie Levine (Michael's Personal Assistant)
  • Meredith Besser (Assistant)


  • Pepsi
  • Nippon Television (Japan only)