Music tours are known for captivating audiences and creating unforgettable experiences for fans. Shows have become even more critical to musicians during the streaming era – with some of the most prominent artists grossing upwards of $100 million. However, a closer examination of the top 10 grossing tours of all time reveals an unfortunate reality that begs for recognition and inclusion. The absence of Black artists within this list prompts reflection on the prevailing dynamics within the music industry and raises questions about systemic biases that persist.
Join us as we delve into the highest-grossing tours of all time while highlighting the lack of diversity and inclusion within the music industry.
#10 Harry Styles: Love on Tour – $418 million
At the #10 spot, we find the charismatic Harry Styles and his Love on Tour, grossing $418 million. Styles captivated audiences worldwide with his first tour as a solo artist, solidifying his status as a global sensation.
#9 AC/DC: Black Ice World Tour – $442 million
Ranking at #9, the legacy rock band AC/DC’s Black Ice World Tour amassed $442 million. This tour showcased the band’s stage presence and unwavering fanbase, confirming the band’s status as rock royalty.
#8 Roger Waters: The Wall Live – $459 million
Securing the #8 position is Roger Waters and The Wall Live tour, which generated $459 million. This tour brought to life the quintessential Pink Floyd album, captivating audiences with its grandeur and visionary staging.
#7 Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams Tour – $524 million
At the #7 spot, we find Coldplay and the A Head Full of Dreams Tour, which grossed $524 million. This tour showcased the band’s commitment to delivering unforgettable live shows and the ability to connect with audiences.
#6 The Rolling Stones: No Filter Tour – $547 million
Landing the #6 spot is the iconic rock band, The Rolling Stones, and their No Filter Tour, raking in $547 million. With the legendary stage presence of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the No Filter Tour thrilled fans of all generations.
#5 The Rolling Stones: A Bigger Bang Tour – $558 million
Claiming the #5 position as well is none other than The Rolling Stones with their A Bigger Bang Tour, which amassed $558 million. This tour is a testament to The Rolling Stones’ ability to draw massive crowds, proving why they are considered one of the most incredible live acts of all time.
#4 Guns N’ Roses: Not in This Lifetime… Tour – $584 million
Making its mark at the #4 position is Guns N’ Roses and their Not in This Lifetime… Tour, which grossed $584 million. This tour marked the reunion of the group’s original members, captivating fans with their performances and undeniable chemistry.
#3 U2: U2 360° Tour – $736 million
Taking the #3 spot is the Irish rock band U2 and their U2 360° Tour, generating $736 million. This tour featured legendary stage design and 360-degree viewing for audience members. It mesmerized fans worldwide and became a landmark as one of history’s most extraordinary live acts.
#2 Ed Sheeran: The ÷ (Divide) Tour – $776 million
Securing the #2 spot is the multi-talented singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and his ÷ (Divide) Tour, grossing $776 million. This tour showcased Sheeran’s unique ability to captivate crowds, propelling him to new heights of success and securing his spot as one biggest artists of his generation.
#1 Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour – $853 million
Finally, in the #1 spot is musician Sir Elton John and his monumental Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, pulling in $853 million. This tour marked the final chapter of John’s outstanding career, with fans flocking to witness the magic of his timeless hits and showmanship.
Beyonce’s Imminent Triumph
As we acknowledge the top 10 grossing tours of all time, the absence of Black artists is evident. It not only highlights the need to address the barriers that affect Black artists but further underscores the importance of creating inclusive spaces where artists from all backgrounds can thrive and have their voices heard.
Still, the tides of change are upon us.
The incomparable Beyonce stands poised to obliterate the current list with her highly anticipated “Renaissance” World Tour. According to Forbes, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter could earn nearly $2.1 billion from her “Renaissance” Tour — some $1 billion more than the $853 million Elton John earned from his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. By breaking the Top 10 list, Beyonce is cementing her status as a trailblazer, leading the charge for increased visibility. The Renaissance tour serves as a clarion call to the industry, urging a reevaluation of the existing hierarchy.
As we bid farewell to the current list of highest-grossing tours, the stage is set for a new chapter. We eagerly anticipate the groundbreaking feat that awaits us, where representation knows no bounds, and the music industry echoes with diversity.