Since her debut tour in 1985, Madonna's performances have continued to be reliable blockbusters. She earned a staggering $408m (£252) for her two-year Sticky & Sweet shows, in 2008 and 2009, and a total of $800m (£494) during that decade. Her concerts this year sold 1,635,176 tickets, drawing adulation from fans and fury from critics, including minor political stirs in France, Russia and the US.
The year's second most lucrative touring act was Bruce Springsteen. Together with the E Street Band, the New Jersey native earned $199m (£123m) worldwide. He only sold out 54 of his 72 concerts, but in addition to playing marathon four- and even five-hour gigs, tickets to Springsteen's shows were cheaper than Madonna's.
Roger Waters came in third, with $186m (£115m), followed by Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson show, Coldplay, and then Lady Gaga, who was seen by a "paltry" 1.1m people. Other top sellers included violinist André Rieu, country stars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, Van Halen, and Watch the Throne, Kanye West's collaboration with Jay-Z. The prince of pop, Justin Bieber, only finished at No 20: a mere 402,710 screaming fans went to see him this year, grossing less than $20m (£12m)? and less than half of his gigs sold out.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk