U2 top of the tours as Joshua Tree hits right note with €265m

Highest-ranked women – Celine Dion and Lady Gaga – fail to make it into the top 10

U2 back on stage at Croke Park in 2017, 30 years after they first performed The Joshua Tree at the Dublin stadium. Photograph: Eric Luke

U2 back on stage at Croke Park in 2017, 30 years after they first performed The Joshua Tree at the Dublin stadium. Photograph: Eric Luke

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Veteran, white male rock stars raked in the most cash from world tours in 2017, according to an annual list released on Thursday, while the highest-ranked women – Celine Dion and Lady Gaga – failed to make the top 10.

U2 grossed a leading $316 million (€265 million) from its 30th anniversary, 50-date Joshua Tree tour. It was followed by hard rock band Guns N’ Roses which took in $292.5 million, according to trade publication Pollstar’s ranking of the Top 20 worldwide tours of 2017.

British band Coldplay came in third, with $238 million, on a list where Bruno Mars, 32, of Puerto Rican and Philippine descent, was the only musician of colour in the top 10. Mars grossed $200 million. Ed Sheeran, 26, was the youngest singer in the top 10, pulling in $124.1 million.

At a whopping $1,500 average, Bruce Springsteen’s limited Broadway run had the highest ticket prices and grossed $87.8 million to give him 14th place.

In 11th spot, Dion was the top female act with $101.2 million, while Lady Gaga’s Joanne tour grossed $85.7 million for 15th place.

The touring numbers mark a strong contrast with US music sales and streaming preferences, where hip hop and R&B music this year became the most consumed music genre, according to a July Nielsen Music report.

The top 20 tours grossed $2.66 billion in 2017, a record high and an increase of more than $264 million from 2016, said Pollstar.

Pollstar’s ranking is based on ticket sales data and does not include revenue from merchandise which can add a sizable chunk to tour earnings.

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