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These Historical Tours Broke All Records and Made Millions

The lives of musicians today are vastly different from before, due to the proliferation of streaming platforms and social media access. Singers must not only make good music, but also develop a strong fan base to support and “fight” their battles for them. Thanks to the fandom and cancel culture, a celebrity can lose massive following, with only a simple hashtag. To top complications, rampant piracy risk that crippled the motion picture industry has beset the music industry too with losses. With everything freely available on the web, people rarely pay to watch shows, movies or stream music. So how do musicians live their glamorous lives, right now? Plenty of sponsorships, lucrative contracts, endorsements, and signing up for lengthy music tours. Which tours have been the most profitable, you enquire? Here are some of the top-grossing music tours of all time:


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Grammy Hall of Famers The Rolling Stones’ hit the jackpot when their two-year tour, A Bigger Bang, raked in $559 million, making it one of the highest-grossing tours. This hugely successful concert tour was organized between August 2005 and August 2007. The set-list time varied show to show, but usually consisted of their old and new hit songs, while for their closing, the certified-gold single (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction was the popular pick. The 57-year-old band completed their last concert for this tour at The O2 arena in London, England.


For their latest tour, Rose, Slash, and Duff shared the same stage again after 1993. Having raked in $563.3 million, the tour still continues with 15 concerts for this fall, in the USA.  The tour’s name suggested a reference to Rose’s 2012 interview when he was asked about a reunion of the band members, to which he responded: “not in this lifetime.” Former drummer Steven Adler joined in for two songs for five shows of the tour. Other rock and metal icons like AC/DC’s Angus Young, Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach, and Rose Tattoo’s Angry Anderson also joined in, when possible.

U2’S 360° TOUR

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U2 performed on a circular stage on their 360° tour, surrounded by “The Claw” and to make the set futuristic, an expanding video screen was put on topSet on a specialized round stage, the tour which is aptly called 360°, allowed the audience to watch in literally 360 degrees, the famous Irish band, U2. The stage had a futuristic space theme with a 4-legged structure called “The Claw” all around it, elaborate lighting for the futuristic effect and a round expanding screen above the stage. An intricate set design and an incredible setlist made the concerts unforgettable, and it also paid tribute to the recent world events and disasters. This tour managed to surpass The Rolling Stones’ concert – A Bigger Bang- earning a total of $736 million.


Creator: Daniel Vorley | Credit: Getty Images | Copyright: 2015 Daniel Vorley

In 2017, Ed Sheeran embarked on his “Divide” tour named after his 3rd studio album, which ended in August 2019. But with many dates lined up, the British singer-songwriter’s tour will break U2’s tour record with $750 million in ticket sales. The tour set list included hits from Ed’s latest album as also songs from previous albums, × (Multiply) and + (Plus) like The A-Team and Thinking Out Loud.

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