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Elton John smashes record for highest-grossing tour of all time

Elton smashes tour record

Elton John's farewell tour is the highest-grossing concert series of all time.

The 'Candle in the Wind' hitmaker embarked on his 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' shows in September 2018 and though the run isn't yet complete, figures reported to Billboard Boxscore show he has already grossed $817.9 million across 278 shows so far, making it the first tour to cross the $800 million benchmark.

The record was initially set by Ed Sheeran in 2019, when his 'Divide' tour grossed $776.4 million towards the end of the 258-show run, putting him ahead of U2's 'The 360 Tour', which grossed $736.4 million.

Both Ed and U2's figures were generated by playing largely stadium shows across six and five continents respectively, whereas Elton's concerts from 2018 to 2020, and the first part of last year, took place in arenas in North America, Europe and Oceania, before the final leg was set for stadiums in each continent.

The data shows that while the 'Rocketman' singer grossed $268.2 million over 116 shows in the first three North American legs, his stadium shows from July-November last year on the same continent generated $222.1 million in just 33 gigs.

Similarly, the European stadium gigs grossed $69.2 million compared with $49.9 million arena shows, despite playing 12 fewer concerts.

But looking at tickets, both Ed and U2 have still outsold Elton, with the 75-year-old singer having sold 5.3 million, which also ranks him behind the Rolling Stones' 1994-95 'Voodoo Lounge' tour, Coldplay's 'A Head Full of Dreams' concerts in 2016-17, and Guns N' Roses' 2016-19 'Not In This Lifetime...' concerts.

The 'Lego House' hitmaker tops the attendance charts with 8.9 million tickets, a feat it is impossible for Elton to pass with this tour, though he could move up to fourth place.

Dating back to reports for Elton's 1986 'Ice on Fire' tour, the 'Sacrifice' hitmaker has to date grossed $1.863 billion and sold 19.9 million tickets for over 1,573 shows, including co-headline performances with the likes of Billy Joel, Eric Clapton and Tina Turner.

This tour has seen him pass the highest career gross and attendance for a solo artist in Boxscore history, overtaking Bruce Springsteen and Madonna.



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