VIDEO: George Michael Opens Up About His New Tour

06/16/2008 AT 01:30 PM EDT

George Michael is set to kick off his highly-anticipated 25 LIVE tour Tuesday in San Diego – and the road trip is long overdue, the singer says in a video interview provided to PEOPLE exclusively. "I should have done it a long time ago," he says of the tour, which is his first in North America in 17 years. Calling the performance a "way better show" than anything he's done in the past, Michael says the performance will encompass material from his solo career and his time in Wham!

The singer's North American dates, which include stops in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, comes after a successful spate of European shows. "I've been doing a lot of work, changing [the show] and improving it," says Michael. "I'm dancing – or walking – on a stage that's completely illuminated."

The show, which comes after the April release of his retrospective record, Twenty-Five, also features a special (video) cameo by Dita von Teese, who worked on a video for the song "Feeling Good."

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