Michael Jackson will kick off his first-ever solo American tour Feb. 23 in Kansas City, performing multiple dates there and in 13 other cities. He'll break off to play in Europe during the late spring and summer, then return to finish his American tour.
Washington is not one of the cities on the first leg of the tour, but there's a good chance it will be included on the second leg. Jackson will start off playing indoor arenas; the tour will most likely expand to outdoor stadiums in the late summer and fall.
After dates in Kansas City on Feb. 23 and 24, Jackson will perform at New York's Madison Square Garden on March 3, 5 and 6; the first date is a benefit for the United Negro College Fund. That concert, which is expected to raise half a million dollars, will be part of Jackson's continuing support of the UNCF: He is currently underwriting 97 scholarships for the organization.
The only other specific dates right now are St. Louis (March 12 and 13), but Jackson will follow them with concerts in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Birmingham, Louisville, Houston, Chapel Hill, N.C., Cleveland, Denver, Miami and Pittsburgh before leaving for Europe.
Jackson's "Bad" may be kept out of the top spot on the album sales charts by the sound track for "Dirty Dancing," but he's proving to be a potent draw on the international concert circuit. His five upcoming shows at London's 72,000-seat Wembley Stadium sold out immediately; previously, the record for sellouts by a single act stood at three shows. In Japan, where he kicked off his first-ever solo tour last year, Jackson had 14 sellouts, drawing 570,000 fans; no performer has ever drawn more than 200,000 on a single tour there.
And the overseas news for "Bad" is good: It's No. 1 in 23 countries and has sold 11 million copies worldwide (4 1/2 million in the United States). A new single from the album, "Man in the Mirror," will be released at the end of the month. The previous single, "The Way You Make Me Feel," became Jackson's 15th straight Top 10 hit, giving him the longest streak of consecutive Top 10 singles since the Beatles had 20 in a row.