September 1, 2006

Janet Jackson planning for 2007 tour

By Ray Waddell

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Although she has only a handful of
national treks under her belt, Janet Jackson is one of the most
successful female touring artists of all time.

Numbers back it up. Between 1993 and 2002 (when she last
toured), Jackson grossed $94 million and sold nearly 2 million
tickets to just 161 shows reported to Billboard Boxscore.

So as Jackson prepares for the September 26 release of her
new Virgin Records album "20 Y.O.," marking the 20th
anniversary of her landmark "Control" record, fans can look
forward to her return to the road around March 2007.

"My three choreographers and I are working on ideas now for
a world tour," Jackson says. "It's always a visual thing for me
as we start planning; I can see it on the stage. I don't want
to share those ideas yet, because nothing is etched in stone.
But we'll begin rehearsing at the end of the year."

Jackson's concert fan base is primarily a "white, suburban
audience," according to Brad Wavra, touring VP at concert
promoter Live Nation, which handled her 1998-99 Velvet Rope
tour and 2001-2002 All for You tour.

Still, he says, the audience crosses racial lines.

"Everything we ever did with her was strategically planned
to be promoted on both sides of the equation, pop and urban."

According to Wavra, Jackson "always understood that the
African-American part of her life and her audience was an
important part, and she made sure her songs, her live show and
her ticket prices appealed to both segments."

Wavra thinks the upcoming Jackson tour will be "wildly
successful," despite negative publicity surrounding the Super
Bowl flap of 2004, when she revealed her breast during a
performance with Justin Timberlake.

"I think that Janet got a bum rap," he says. "She's the
antithesis of that person that was created in the media. If it
hadn't been an election year I doubt it would have gotten
played like it did."