Michael Bolton isn't one to sit around and relax. He'll appear Monday and Tuesday in the live, season-opening nights of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," then make a quick jaunt from Los Angeles to Modesto for a Wednesday performance at the Gallo Center for the Arts.
"I have 115 concerts to perform this year all across the globe, with still 55 to go from now until Christmas," the pop singer said on the TV show's Web site. "Between planes, stages, recording and Pilates, and the busy area between my ears, there will be no rest for the wicked."
Bolton, 57, and dance partner Chelsie Hightower will compete against such stars as singer Brandy, comedian Margaret Cho and "Brady Bunch" mom Florence Henderson.
There's no word as to whether Bolton will share some of his dance moves at his season-opening concert at the Gallo Center. During a telephone conference call with journalists in July, he mostly talked about his latest album, "One World One Love," featuring the single "Murder My Heart," which he co-wrote with Lady Gaga.
Bolton, who is best known for his 1980s hits like "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," "How Can We Be Lovers" and "When I'm Back on My Feet Again," hooked up with Gaga before she became famous.
He put the word out that he wanted to work with young writers and producers and soon received an e-mail of an MP3 of her then-unreleased songs "Just Dance" and "Poker Face." He was blown away and started writing with her in the studio that night. He was immediately impressed with her skills.
"I was looking at a real artist standing in front of me -- a brand-new, about-to-be-released artist who really could sing and really liked what she was doing," Bolton said.
Bolton told her that if they were going to collaborate, their song would really have to slay people. She came up with the "Murder My Heart" title.
"Three or four months later, she became the biggest artist in the world," Bolton said.
Bolton, who has sold more than 53 million records, said his goal with the new album was to put out a set of songs that would make listeners happy.
"There's a heaviness out there and a burden being felt by so many people that I wanted to make this CD a feel-good record," he said. "I wanted more tempo in it. I wanted to give a sense of something uplifting and hopeful. I just felt the world doesn't need more serious subject matter."
Bolton originally wanted to do covers of soul music and originals, but switched to a focus on originals because the material the writers were turning in was so good.
"They're young and focused and very, very driven to have a career in music," Bolton said. "It was interesting for them to bounce ideas off of me. They'd like to have a career as long as my career has been going on."
The Gallo Center is a good fit for Bolton because he enjoys playing performing-arts centers. Unlike in 2006 when he played the Stanislaus County Fair, the venue allows him to have better control over sound quality.
"A lot of theaters are beautifully done, and with technology, they've learned how to tweak the room so they're using state-of-the-art equipment in making everything sound crisp and clear no matter what seat you're sitting in."
He said he usually sings a lot of his hits because he knows what most audience members want to hear.
"People have been having such a rough time in so many ways," Bolton said. "They've been bombarded by heavy subject matter and serious news when they get home. People want to feel good, and as an artist, I think you have an obligation to provide that musically."
In between all those concerts still on his schedule, Bolton will continue to practice his dancing so he has a shot at winning the mirror-ball trophy at the end of the "Dancing With the Stars" season.
"I can't wait!" he enthusiastically wrote on the show's Web site. "I'm also hoping to prove to my daughters that I can make up for all the stepping on their toes! I really have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, but I can't wait!"