List of highest-grossing concert tours

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The / Tour by Ed Sheeran is the highest-grossing concert tour of all time. Ed Sheehan - Divide Tour.jpg
The ÷ Tour by Ed Sheeran is the highest-grossing concert tour of all time.

This is an incomplete list of the highest-grossing concert tours. Only tours using reliable references and having grossed over $100 million (adjusted for inflation) have been added to the list. Some of the gross may be higher than reported on this list because not all concerts are reported. Billboard and Pollstar regularly provide the official figure of concerts' gross revenue worldwide.

Concert tour series of concerts by a single artist in different venues

A concert tour is a series of concerts by an artist or group of artists in different cities, countries or locations. Often concert tours are named to differentiate different tours by the same artist and to associate a specific tour with a particular album or product. Especially in the popular music world, such tours can become large-scale enterprises that last for several months or even years, are seen by hundreds of thousands or millions of people, and bring in millions of dollars in ticket revenues. A performer who embarks on a concert tour is called a touring artist.

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

Pollstar is a trade publication for the concert industry. It gets its information primarily from the agents, managers and promoters who produce concerts.

Contents

Tours that span multiple decades are included in the decade that they concluded.

In bold, the tours which, when completed, became the highest-grossing of all time.

Highest-grossing tours of all time

The Rolling Stones English rock band

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of bandleader Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as a contracted musician until his death in 1985. The band's primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and continues on guitar in tandem with Richards. Since Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones has served as touring bassist. The Stones have not had an official keyboardist since 1963, but have employed several musicians in that role, including Jack Nitzsche (1965–1971), Nicky Hopkins (1967–1982), Billy Preston (1971–1981), Ian McLagan (1978–1981), and Chuck Leavell (1982–present).

U2 Four-member Irish rock band, from Dublin

U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin, formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.. Initially rooted in post-punk, U2's musical style has evolved throughout their career, yet has maintained an anthemic quality built on Bono's expressive vocals and the Edge's effects-based guitar textures. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal and sociopolitical themes. Popular for their live performances, the group have staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career.

U2 360° Tour tour by U2

The U2 360° Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Staged in support of the group's 2009 album No Line on the Horizon, the tour visited stadiums from 2009 through 2011. The concerts featured the band playing "in the round" on a circular stage, allowing the audience to surround them on all sides. To accommodate the stage configuration, a large four-legged structure nicknamed "The Claw" was built above the stage, with the sound system and a cylindrical, expanding video screen on top of it. At 164 feet (50 m) tall, it was the largest stage ever constructed. U2 claimed that the tour would be "the first time a band has toured in stadiums with such a unique and original structure."

This list represents the top 20 grossing tours (by actual gross, not adjusted for inflation) of all time.

RankActual grossGross adjusted for inflation
(2019 $)
ArtistTour nameYear(s)ShowsAttendanceAverage gross per show (millions)Average attendance per showRef.
1$736,700,000$736,700,000 Ed Sheeran ÷ Tour 2017–present2398,150,684$2.933,744 [1] [2] [3] [4]
2$736,421,584$820,194,986 U2 U2 360° Tour 2009–111107,272,046$6.766,110 [5]
3$563,300,000$563,300,000 Guns N' Roses Not in This Lifetime... Tour 2016–present1594,377,126$3.8535,017 [1] [2] [6]
4$558,255,524$674,547,559 The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang Tour 2005–071444,680,000$3.832,500 [7]
5$523,033,675$546,023,369 Coldplay A Head Full of Dreams Tour 2016–171145,389,586$4.5945,128 [8]
6$458,673,798$493,336,432 Roger Waters The Wall Live 2010–132194,129,863$2.0918,858 [9]
7$441,121,000$506,821,305 AC/DC Black Ice World Tour 2008–101674,846,965$2.629,023 [10] [11] [12]
8$407,713,266$476,474,639 Madonna Sticky & Sweet Tour 2008–09853,545,899$4.7941,716 [13]
9$389,047,636$483,515,954 U2 Vertigo Tour 2005–061314,719,021$2.9635,259 [14]
10$377,850,000$377,850,000 Metallica WorldWired Tour 2016–present1313,683,883$2.8828,121 [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]

[20]

11$364,300,000$364,300,000 Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood World Tour 2014–173906,443,727$0.9614,669 [21] [22] [23] [24]
12$362,000,000$421,251,623 The Police The Police Reunion Tour 2007–081563,300,912$2.321,160 [25]
13$355,600,000$415,280,347 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Wrecking Ball World Tour 2012–131363,650,535$2.818,744 [26] [27]
14$345,700,000$345,700,000 Taylor Swift Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour 2018532,888,892$6.554,507 [28] [29]
15$320,000,000$526,158,550 The Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour 1994–951246,336,776$2.651,103 [30]
16$316,990,940$324,005,537 U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 2017512,713,136$6.353,198 [31] [32]
17$311,000,000$423,574,349 The Rolling Stones Licks Tour 2002–031153,470,945$2.630,182 [33]
18$306,500,000$319,972,060 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band The River Tour 2016 2016–17892,667,775$4.029,020 [6] [34]
19$305,158,363$333,024,687 Madonna The MDNA Tour 2012882,212,345$3.4725,140 [33]
20$301,000,000$301,000,000 Billy Joel Billy Joel in Concert 2014–present1202,065,755$2.222,205 [6] [21] [22] [24] [34]

Highest-grossing tours by decade

1980s

RankActual grossInflation
(adjusted 2019 gross)
ArtistTour nameYear(s)ShowsAttendanceAverage
gross (millions)
Average
attendance
Ref.
1$135,000,000$272,863,087 Pink Floyd A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour 1987–891975,500,0000.6821,250 [35] [36]
2$125,738,964$266,372,724 Michael Jackson Bad World Tour 1987–891234,498,3001.0236,571 [37] [38]
3$98,000,000$198,078,389 The Rolling Stones Steel Wheels Tour 1989603,253,5631,6354,200 [39] [40]
4$86,000,000$189,658,465 David Bowie Glass Spider Tour 1987863,000,0001.034,884 [41] [42]
5$85,000,000$198,008,973 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Born in the U.S.A. Tour 1984–851560.55 [43]
6$75,000,000$180,869,635 The Jacksons Victory Tour 1984552,750,0001.3650,000 [44]
7$56,278,095$124,111,827 U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 19871093,176,9520.529,146 [45]
8$52,000,000$143,304,539 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones American Tour 1981 1981503,000,0001.0460,000 [44]

1990s

RankActual grossInflation
(adjusted 2019 gross)
ArtistTour nameYear(s)ShowsAttendanceAverage
gross (millions)
Average
attendance
Ref.
1$320,000,000$526,158,550 The Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour 1994–951296,336,7762.651,103 [30]
2$274,000,000$421,181,298 The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon Tour 1997–98108 [33]
3$250,000,000$422,597,665 Pink Floyd The Division Bell Tour 19941106,000,0002.345,000 [46]
4$171,677,027$267,942,856 U2 PopMart Tour 1997–98933,936,8411.842,332 [45]
5$165,000,000$257,521,766 Michael Jackson HIStory World Tour 1996–97834,500,0002.0154,878 [47]
6$151,000,000$261,893,343 U2 Zoo TV Tour 1992–931575,350,5540.9634,080 [45] [48]
7$142,700,000 [lower-alpha 1] $234,633,828 Eagles Hell Freezes Over Tour 1994–95 [49] [50]
8$105,000,000$161,401,592 Garth Brooks The Garth Brooks World Tour 1996–982205,500,0000.4925,346 [51] [52]
9$100,300,000$141,911,870 Michael Jackson Dangerous World Tour 1992–93693,746,000 – 3,925,00057,000 [53]
10$91,160,765$140,128,501 Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love World Tour 1998–9987 (Gross is from 69 shows only)1,676,087 [54]
11$74,000,000$141,911,870 New Kids on the Block The Magic Summer Tour 1990–911523,291,98721,657 [40]
12$70,000,000$121,407,510 Madonna The Girlie Show World Tour 1993391.79 [55] [56]
13$62,700,000$120,241,544 Madonna Blond Ambition World Tour 1990571.1 [57] [56]

2000s

RankActual grossInflation
(adjusted
2019 gross)
ArtistTour nameYear(s)ShowsAttendanceAverage
gross (millions)
Average
attendance
Ref.
1$736,421,584$820,194,986 U2 U2 360° Tour 2009–111107,272,0466.7 66,110 [7]
2$558,255,524$674,547,559 The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang Tour 2005–071444,680,0003.832,500 [7]
3$441,121,000$495,041,025 AC/DC Black Ice World Tour 2008–101674,846,9652.629,023 [13]
4$408,000,000$476,474,639 Madonna Sticky & Sweet Tour 2008–09853,545,8994.7941,716 [13]
5$389,047,636$483,515,954 U2 Vertigo Tour 2005–061314,619,0212.9635,259 [14]
6$362,000,000$421,251,623 The Police The Police Reunion Tour 2007–081563,300,9122.321,160 [25]
7$311,000,000$423,574,349 The Rolling Stones Licks Tour 2002–031153,470,9452.630,182 [33]
8$279,200,000$324,899,042 Celine Dion Taking Chances World Tour 2008–091322,600,0002.119,697 [10] [11] [58]
9$250,000,000$320,710,513 Cher Living Proof: The Farewell Tour 2002–053263,500,0000.610,800 [59]
10$235,000,000$273,464,451 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Magic Tour 2007–081002,198,3532.421,983 [60]
11$221,500,000$301,677,551 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band The Rising Tour 2002–031203,232,3841.831,081 [61]
12$210,650,974$245,130,013 Bon Jovi Lost Highway Tour 2007–08992,157,6752.121,794 [60]
13$194,754,447$242,044,607 Madonna Confessions Tour 2006601,210,2943.220,171 [62]
14$167,000,000$195,027,610 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Working on a Dream Tour 2009801,831,7702.122,897 [11]
15$142,844,463$202,119,143 U2 Elevation Tour 20011122,162,2821.319,306 [63]
16$141,000,000$170,372,171 Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Soul2Soul II Tour 2006–071171,673,6671.214,304 [64]
17$132,500,000$154,737,475 Tina Turner Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour 2008–09901,176,1991.4713,068 [10] [11]
18$131,800,000$153,919,994 Britney Spears The Circus Starring Britney Spears 2009971,500,0001.415,488 [11]
19$131,388,461$163,292,130 Bon Jovi Have a Nice Day Tour 2005–06891,823,8341.723,382 [65]
20$129,059,653$155,944,492 Genesis Turn It On Again: The Tour 2007461,262,3932.827,443 [66] [67]
21$126,800,000$153,214,123 Justin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveShow 20071191,600,000113,445 [68]

2010s

RankActual grossInflation
(adjusted 2019 gross)
ArtistTour nameYear(s)ShowsAttendanceAverage
gross (millions)
Average
attendance
Ref.
1$736,700,000$736,700,000 Ed Sheeran ÷ Tour 2017–present2056,386,3642.7131,153 [1] [2]
2$563,300,000$563,300,000 Guns N' Roses Not in This Lifetime... Tour 2016–present1594,377,1263.8535,017 [6] [1] [2]
3$523,033,675$546,023,369 Coldplay A Head Full of Dreams Tour 2016–171145,389,5364.5945,128 [8]
4$458,673,798$493,336,432 Roger Waters The Wall 2010–132194,129,8632.0918,858 [9]
5$441,121,000$506,821,305 AC/DC Black Ice World Tour 2008–101674,846,9652.629,023 [10] [11] [12]
6$364,300,000$324,565,460 Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood 2014–173664,743,7270.9614,669 [21] [22] [23] [24]
7$355,600,000$382,473,200 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Wrecking Ball World Tour 2012–131273,650,5352.828,744 [26] [27]
8$345,700,000$345,600,000 Taylor Swift Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour 2018532,888,9186.554,507 [28]
9$316,000,000$329,889,628 U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 2017512,713,1366.1953,198 [31]
10$307,600,000$307,600,000 Metallica WorldWired Tour 2016–present1182,987,692$2.625,321 [17] [69] [70] [71] [72]
11$306,500,000$319,972,060 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band The River Tour 2016 2016–17892,667,7754.029,020 [22] [23]
12$305,158,363$333,024,687 Madonna The MDNA Tour 2012882,212,3453.4725,140 [33]
13$301,000,000$301,000,000 Billy Joel Billy Joel in Concert 2014–present1202,065,7552.222,205 [6] [21] [22] [24] [34]
14$290,178,452$307,106,208 One Direction Where We Are Tour 2014693,449,5604.249,848 [73]
15$275,700,000$291,414,474 Paul McCartney Out There! Tour 2013–15841,958,7543.2823,319 [21] [22] [27]
16$259,500,000$279,110,786 Bon Jovi Because We Can 20131022,657,5022.6727,397 [27]
16$258,926,725$258,926,725 Pink Beautiful Trauma Tour 2018–present1261,824,949214,370 [74] [75]
17$256,500,000$267,774,334 Justin Bieber Purpose World Tour 2016–171492,757,3681.820,484 [6] [34]
18$256,084,556$267,340,630 Beyoncé The Formation World Tour 2016492,242,0995.245,757 [76]

Notes

  1. Figure for Hell Freezes Over Tour only includes North American dates. Official data for the rest of the world tour is unavailable.

See also

Related Research Articles

Blond Ambition World Tour pop concert tour by Madonna in 1990

Blond Ambition World Tour was the third concert tour by American singer-songwriter Madonna. The tour was launched in support of her fourth studio album, Like a Prayer, and the soundtrack, I'm Breathless. The tour reached North America, Europe and Asia. It was a highly controversial tour, mainly for its juxtaposition of Catholic iconography and sexuality. Rolling Stone called it an "elaborately choreographed, sexually provocative extravaganza" and proclaimed it "the best tour of 1990." In 1991, a documentary film, Truth or Dare, was released chronicling the tour. The tour received the "Most Creative Stage Production" at the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. The tour was named the Greatest Concert of the 1990s by Rolling Stone. In 2015, the BBC credited the tour with "invent[ing] the modern, multi-media pop spectacle".

Confessions Tour concert tour

Confessions Tour was the seventh concert tour by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It supported her tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor. Madonna confirmed the possibility of going out on a tour as early as November 2005. Jamie King, Madonna's longtime collaborator, was then hired on to direct. The set list consisted of mainly songs from the supporting studio album and rehearsals started during 2006. As with many of her prior tours, the Confessions Tour did not go to Australia, prompting Madonna to release an apology statement on her website.

Wrecking Ball World Tour concert tour by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

The Wrecking Ball World Tour was a concert tour by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to promote Springsteen's seventeenth studio album, Wrecking Ball, which was released on March 5, 2012. It was the first tour for the E Street Band without founding member Clarence Clemons, who died on June 18, 2011. The worldwide tour in support of the album, which ended in September 2013, reached 26 countries, the most ever for one of Springsteen's tours. The tour was resumed in January 2014 however this time it was to promote his new album, High Hopes and went under that album's name.

Clockwork Angels Tour

The Clockwork Angels Tour was a concert tour in support of the 2012 album, Clockwork Angels, by the Canadian rock band Rush. The tour included shows in the United States, Canada, and throughout Europe. A nine-piece string ensemble accompanied the band during the second set of each performance, which highlighted songs from Clockwork Angels.

Because We Can (concert tour)

Because We Can was a concert tour by American rock band, Bon Jovi. The tour was in support of the band's twelfth studio album What About Now. The tour was named after the lead single from What About Now. All five major continents were visited during the 2013 tour. The tour saw the band travel to Wales for the first time in 12 years since their 2001 One Wild Night Tour and was also the first time in 18 years since their 1995 These Days Tour that the band returned to Africa for two dates in South Africa. Furthermore, the tour also saw the band travel to Cologne performing in the RheinEnergieStadion also for the first time in 12 years since their 2001 tour, this tour was the first time in the band's 30-year history that they visited Bulgaria and Poland. The tour ranked 1st on Pollstar's annual "Top 100 Mid Year Worldwide Tours". It earned $142.1 million from 60 shows. At the end of 2013, the tour placed 1st on Pollstar's "Top 100 Worldwide Tours", grossing $259.5 million from 102 shows.

Prismatic World Tour third concert tour of Katy Perry

The Prismatic World Tour was the third concert tour by American singer Katy Perry, in support of her fourth studio album, Prism (2013). The tour began on May 7, 2014, in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the Odyssey Arena, concluding on October 18, 2015, in Alajuela, Costa Rica at Parque Viva after six legs. The Prismatic World Tour grossed more than $204.3 million from 149 shows with a total attendance of 1,984,503 between 2014 and 2015 and it is Perry's most successful tour to date.

The 1989 World Tour fourth concert tour by Taylor Swift

The 1989 World Tour was the fourth concert tour by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, in support of her fifth studio album, 1989 (2014). The tour's European and North American dates, as well as two shows in Japan, were announced in November 2014, followed by the Oceania dates in December 2014. Additional dates for Singapore and Shanghai were announced in June 2015 with a third and final Melbourne show announced in July 2015. The tour began on May 5, 2015, in Tokyo, Japan, and concluded on December 12, 2015, in Melbourne, Australia, the day before Swift's 26th birthday. The tour became Swift's highest grossing and most attended tour, mobilizing 2,278,647 fans and $250,733,097 in revenue but was later surpassed by her Reputation Stadium Tour (2018).

x Tour (Ed Sheeran) 2014-15 world concert tour by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran

The x Tour was the second world concert tour by English singer-songwriter and musician, Ed Sheeran, in support of his second album, ×. The tour began in Osaka, Japan on 6 August 2014, and continued through Europe, the Americas, Oceania and Asia until 12 December 2015, where the tour ended in New Zealand. Sheeran planned 180 shows. In June 2015, the singer announced a documentary would be filmed during the tour's three sold-out dates, 10–12 July 2015, at 80,000-person capacity Wembley Stadium.

One World Tour (Ricky Martin) Ricky Martin Tour

The One World Tour is the tenth tour by Puerto Rican recording artist Ricky Martin, in support of his tenth studio album A Quien Quiera Escuchar (2015). The tour began in Auckland, New Zealand at the Vector Arena on April 17, 2015 and has been extended to conclude in the Dubai International Jazz Festival in February 2018. The One World Tour grossed $57.4 million with a total attendance of 802,931 from 105 shows reported in 2015 and 2016.

Billy Joel in Concert

Billy Joel in Concert is a concert tour by the American singer-songwriter Billy Joel. After several concerts beforehand, in the fall of 2013, the concert tour began in Sunrise, Florida, and is currently ongoing, continuing into 2019.

Adele Live 2016 concert tour

Adele Live 2016 was the third concert tour by British singer Adele in support of her third studio album, 25. It began on 29 February 2016, in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the SSE Arena, continued throughout Western Europe, North America and Oceania. It was originally scheduled to conclude on 2 July 2017, in London, England, at Wembley Stadium, however on 30 June Adele announced via social media that she had regretfully cancelled her final two performances upon medical advice due to vocal injuries. It is unlikely the performances will be postponed to a later date.

Illuminate World Tour concert tour by Shawn Mendes

The Illuminate World Tour was the second solo concert tour by Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, in support of his second studio album Illuminate (2016). The tour began in SSE Hydro, Glasgow, April 27, 2017, and concluded in Tokyo at the Tokyo International Forum on December 18, 2017.

WorldWired Tour

The WorldWired Tour is a concert tour by American heavy metal band Metallica in support of their tenth studio album Hardwired... to Self-Destruct, which was released on November 18, 2016. It is also their first worldwide tour after the World Magnetic Tour six years earlier.

÷ Tour 2017–19 world concert tour by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran

The ÷ Tour is the third world concert tour by English singer and songwriter, Ed Sheeran, in support of his third studio album, ÷. Comprising 255 shows, it officially began on 16 March 2017, in Turin, Italy and is set to end on 26 August 2019, in Ipswich, England. Ticket sales started on 2 February 2017. The tour set world records for the highest-grossing concert tour and the most tickets sold by a tour.

Piece of Me Tour Eighth world tour by American pop singer Britney Spears.

The Piece of Me Tour was the tenth concert tour by American recording artist Britney Spears. Although it largely mirrors her Las Vegas residency, Britney: Piece of Me, which concluded in December 2017; the stage-show was updated with new remixes, production technology, visuals and set list modifications to accommodate for arena shows.

Witness: The Tour Fourth Comcert Tour by Katy Perry

Witness: The Tour was the fourth concert tour by American singer Katy Perry, in support of her fifth studio album, Witness (2017). The tour began on September 19, 2017, in Montreal, Canada, and concluded on August 21, 2018, in Auckland, New Zealand. Perry visited North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania.

Now Tour (Shania Twain)

The Now Tour was the fourth headlining concert tour by Canadian recording artist Shania Twain, in support of her fifth studio album Now (2017). The tour began on May 3, 2018, in Tacoma, and was initially scheduled to conclude in Las Vegas on August 4, 2018 but was later extended to conclude in Dunedin on December 22, 2018. The tour marks Twain's first since 2015's Rock This Country Tour, which, at the time, Twain announced would be her final run out on the road.

On the Run II Tour

The On the Run II Tour was the second co-headlining stadium tour by American singer Beyoncé and rapper Jay-Z. The tour was officially announced on March 12, 2018, and began on June 6, 2018 in Cardiff. It concluded on October 4, 2018 in Seattle. This is their first tour together since On the Run Tour in 2014.

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