For an artist, nothing beats a live concert experience. No one knows this better than the road warriors featured on this list. These artists have made more money touring than any other artists in the world in the past decade. In case you are wondering how profitable tours are, stay put. Provided an artist is big and they have millions of fans eager to see them, you can be rest assured they will sell out shows when they announce tour dates.
Miley Cyrus is an excellent example of how profitable touring can be. In her Best of Both Worlds tour in 2007/8, Miley made $43.3 million after putting up 70 shows. Tickets sold out in record time as her TV show fans scrambled for a chance to see her perform live on her first ever music tour. Although Miley's debut tour was impressive, she still has a long way to go when you compare her with the artists on this list.
The artists featured in this list have grossed over $230 million touring in the past decade. These amounts are mind-blowing when you consider the fact that some of them have made that much money doing less than 250 shows. Just in case you’re wondering how your favourite artist makes that much touring, here's a breakdown of how tours rake in millions.
According to billboard.com the main source of money comes from ticket sales. Depending on factors like concert venue, performer, seat location, type of concert, type of ticket e.t.c., ticket prices can range from $50 to over $1000. When you consider popular artists have an average attendance of 20,000 to 60,000 people per show minus TV viewership, it is easy to see how touring artists make so much money. Please note we haven't considered album and merchandise sales.
Without wasting any more time, let’s jump right into it and list the top 10 touring artists of the decade. Ranking will be based on the total gross, among single touring artists, such as number of shows, attendance and number of sold out shows.
10 Paul McCartney – Total gross: $238,755,522
9 CHER – Total gross: $257,319,809
8 Neil Diamond – Total gross: $264,810,659
7 Tim McGraw – Total gross: $303,950,209
6 Billy Joel – Total gross: $418,421,266
5 Kenny Chesney – Total gross: $477,931,760
American country music star Kenneth Arnold Chesney popularly known as Kenny has 14 gold certified albums under his belt. He can easily qualify as the most consistent touring artist in this list considering he has toured consistently every year since 2001. This explains why he has managed to gross over $477 million in the past decade. He has performed in a record 622 shows selling out 409. He holds the total attendance record in this list (9,210,288 people).
4 Celine Dion – Total gross: $536,593,262
3 Elton John – Total gross: $603,804,670
2 Bruce Springsteen – Total gross: $688,136,476
1 Madonna – Total gross: $801,299,671
Madonna Louise Ciccone popularly known as Madonna takes the number one spot on this list with a total gross of $801 million. Madonna holds a Guinness book of world record as the best selling female recording artist of all times. She has sold over 300 million records worldwide. It took her 248 shows only in the past decade to gross over $800 million. 244 shows were sold out boosting the total attendance to 6,387,124 people. She has had 4 successful tours in the past decade namely; Re-Invention World Tour in 2004, Confessions Tour in 2006, Sticky and Sweet Tour in 2008/9 and The MDNA Tour in 2012. Her latest tour (MDNA) performed the best grossing $305.2 million. She clearly deserves to be Number 1 in this list.