Highest Grossing Tours of 2011
  • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2011

  • Posted by: Stefanie Wray

It's no secret that the best way to make money as a band is to tour. Not only is it a great way to widen a band's audience, but the experience of a live performance can't be ripped off BitTorrent or streamed on Spotify. The highest generating tours of 2011 made over 200 million dollars. Needless to say, U2 and Bon Jovi are going to have a very merry Christmas this year.

In tour, these musicians made sure their audiences got their money's worth. The highest grossing tours pulled out all the stops with elaborate costume changes, crazy dance choreography and popular guest appearances. U2's 360 Degree Tour is the highest grossing tour in history! The concerts featured a "Space Station" enclosed stage and video guest appearances from Commander Mark E. Kelly of the Endeavour crew and former Burmese political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi. The audience was even asked to simulate the Milky Way by holding up their cell phones as lights. On The Monster Ball Tour 2011, Lady Gaga had one entertaining mission: fight through the dark and sinister streets of NYC and Brooklyn to get to a fabulous party called The Monster Ball (wowing the crowd with tight choreography and impossibly elaborate, or non-existent, costumes along the way).

Of course, many bands barely break even on their tours, giving it their all in dirty jeans, with no frills, just pure heart. We love them all the more for it. Personally, I'd rather haunt a sweaty, stinking bar and watch my favorite band bare their soul so close they can pepper my face with sweat and spittle, but that's not to say there isn't value in the hard work that went into these spectacles. Check out these astronomical earnings:

Highest-Earning Tours of 2011 (thanks to Billboard and Consequence of Sound):

1) U2 $293.3 million
2) Bon Jovi $193 million
3) Take That $185 million
4) Roger Waters $150 million
5) Taylor Swift $97.3 million
6) Kenny Chesney $84.6 million
7) Usher $75 million
8) Lady Gaga $72 million
9) Andrie Rieu $76 million
10) Sade $50 million

While we're at it, here are the latest numbers for album sales. Apparently I've been living under an indie rock, since I didn't even know some of these people were still making music!

Highest Selling Albums of 2011 (according to Nielsen Soundscan):

1) Adele 21 - 4,673,000
2) Justin Bieber My World 2.0 - 2,970,000
3) Demi Lovato Unbroken - 195,000
4) Coldplay Mylo Xyloto - 755,000
5) Justin Bieber Underneath the Mistletoe - 533,000
6) Maroon 5 Hands All Over - 796,000
7) Lady GaGa Born This Way - 1,948,000
8) Taylor Swift Speak Now - 3,776,000
9) Nicki Minaj Pink Friday - 1,663,000
10) Rihanna LOUD - 1,547,000
11)Beyonce 4 - 940,000
12) Bruno Mars Doo-Wops & Hooligans - 1,340,000
13) Britney Spears Femme Fatale - 713,000
14) J. Lo Love? - 287,000
15) Pitbull Planet Pit - 265,000
16) Evanescence Evanescence - 249,000
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