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Photos of the Michael Jackson’s biggest and most iconic world tour “Bad” back in 1987-1988

Ian Smith

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, 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. 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.

Michael Jackson - BAD WORLD TOUR, 1987-1988 (16)

Michael Jackson - BAD WORLD TOUR, 1987-1988 (17)

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 atWembley 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.

Michael Jackson - BAD WORLD TOUR, 1987-1988 (18)

Michael Jackson - BAD WORLD TOUR, 1987-1988

Michael with his father Joseph and his mother Katherine, 1988

The Band

with Jon Bon Jovi, 1987

with Sylvester Stallone, 1988