[Read what EBONY
- April 1989 - had to say about the legendary Bad Tour]:
Megastar entertainer drew 4.4 million fans, earned $125 million
on Bad tour, now says he will retire from stage to marke records,
It had been announced as the "farewell concert,"
and the crowd that jammed the Los Angeles Sports Arena showed
its love: "Michael! Michael!" the thousands
chanted as the stage smoke cleared, the lights and lasers
dimmed, and Michael Jackson, exhausted after two hours of
nonstop singing and dancing, made his way to his dressing
The man now called "the greatest
entertainer in the world" had just sung the last
note dazzled with the final "moonwalk" of
a grueling, 16-month tour that had taken him almost
around the world for 123 concerts in 15 countries that
drew 4.4 million fans and grossed $ 125 million -- more
than any other entertainer has ever grossed on a single
After some kind words and embraces for the family and
friends he had invited backstage, Michael said his thanks
and goodbyes to the crew of his "Bad" tour,
then sped off into the night to rest before beginning
work on new album and movie projects.
The tour, Michael's first without his
brother -- Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Randy of The Jacksons
-- began in Japan in the fall of 1987 and moved to Australia,
the U.S. and Europe, then back to Japan before ending in January
in Los Angeles.
The Japanese, who turned out 450,000 strong to see him were
as affected by "Michaelmania" as the other four
million who jammed stadiums on several continents, sometimes
paying "scalpers" as much as $1,000 for a ticket,
many of which had been forged.
The concert frenzy boosted sales of Michael's Bad album to
more than 20 million [his Thriller album has sold some 40
million world-wide, and is the biggest-selling album in history],
spawning an unprecedented five No. 1 singles: "I Can't
Stop Loving You," "The Way You Make Me Feel,"
"Bad," "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty
Diana," and helping sales of his autobiography, Moonwalk
[some 450,000 copies have been sold in 14 countries], and
video, Moonwalker, which has sold over 500,000 copies in the
Wherever he appeared, Michael
drew celebrities in droves: Prince Charles and Princess
Diana, Ava Gardner, Joan Collins and Harrison Ford in
London; Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida [who had
not spoken to each other in years until Michael brought
them together for a photo] in Rome; Elizabeth Taylor
and Bob Dylan in Geneva; Grace Jones and designer Patrick
Kelly in Paris; opera star Placido Domingo in Hamburg;
Altovise Davis and roger Moore in Nice, and Gregory
Peck, Barbara Streisand, Sylvester Stallone and Sidney
Poitier in Los Angeles.
At most stops, Michael showed his concern
for underprivilaged children by inviting them to concerts
as his personal guests and by contributing to hospitals, orphanages
and other charities. In New York, he donated $600,000 to the
United Negro College Fund, boosting the UNCF/Michael Jackson
Scholars program that now funds the education of 78 students
at Black colleges.
It is no exaggeration to say that
much of the entire world waits to see if, at age 30,
after 25 years in the spotlight, Michael will indeed
Or as with Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Frank Sinatra
and others, will the familiar roar of the crowd bring
him back on stage for at least one more encore.