LOS ANGELES • Money does grow on trees - or at least the Joshua Tree. This year, Irish rockers U2 grossed US$316 million (S$422 million) from their 50-date The Joshua Tree tour, which marked the 30th anniversary of their album of the same name.
That was more than enough to put them at the top of a chart tracking world tours, which was dominated by veteran, white male rock stars.
The annual list, released on Thursday, showed that the highest-ranked women - Celine Dion and Lady Gaga - failed to make the top 10.
U2 were followed by hard rockers Guns N' Roses, which took in US$292.5 million, according to trade publication Pollstar's ranking of the top 20 worldwide tours of the year.
Coldplay came in third, with US$238 million, on a list where Bruno Mars, of Puerto Rican and Philippine descent, was the only musician of colour in the top 10.
He grossed US$200 million and took fourth spot.
Ed Sheeran, at 26, was the youngest singer in the top 10, pulling in US$124.1 million for eighth place.
At a whopping US$1,500 average, Bruce Springsteen's limited Broadway run had the highest ticket prices and grossed US$87.8 million to give the Born To Run rocker 14th place.
In 11th spot, Dion was the top female act with US$101.2 million.
Lady Gaga's Joanne tour grossed US$85.7 million, but that was good enough only for 15th place.
The touring numbers mark a strong contrast with United States music sales and streaming preferences, where hip-hop and R&B music this year became the most consumed music genre, according to a Nielsen Music report in July.
The top 20 tours grossed US$2.66 billion, a record high and an increase of more than US$264 million from last year.
Pollstar's rankings are based on ticket sales data and do not include revenue from merchandise, which can add a considerable chunk to tour earnings.