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Madonna’s Nipple-Flashing, Gun-Waving MDNA World Tour Cashes In


Madonna’s massive, controversy-skirting MDNA tour has paid off: the Material Girl raked in $228 million from the live shows, making her muscular jaunt around the world the year’s highest grossing tour, Billboard reports. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were a somewhat distant second, claiming a total of $199 million after playing to a little more than two million people. The rest of the top five: Roger Waters at $186 million; Cirque Du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour” with $147 million; and Coldplay, clocking $147 million. Out of those elite five, only Waters placed on last year’s list — the founding member of Pink Floyd filed close to $150 million as 2011’s tour revenue.

On the whole, 2012 belonged to legacy acts. Music industry staples — such as Van Halen, Barbra Streisand, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond and Pearl Jam — outnumbered and out-earned younger acts, including Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift.

Billboard‘s highest grossing tours of 2012:

1. Madonna ($228 million)
2. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band ($199 million)
3. Roger Waters ($186 million)
4. Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil ($147 million)
5. Coldplay ($147 million)
6. Lady Gaga ($124 million)
7. Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw ($96 million)
8. Van Halen ($54 million)
9. Jay-Z & Kanye West ($46 million)
10. Andre Rieu ($46 million)
11. Dave Matthews Band ($41 million)
12. Barbra Streisand ($40 million)
13. Jason Aldean ($39 million)
14. Lady Antebellum ($38 million)
15. Red Hot Chili Peppers ($33 million)
16. Brad Paisley ($33 million)
17. Nickelback ($33 million)
18. Trans-Siberian Orchestra ($33 million)
19. Elton John ($32 million)
20. Justin Bieber ($30 million)
21. Rod Stewart ($30 million)
22. Neil Diamond ($29 million)
23. Pearl Jam ($27 million)
24. Taylor Swift ($26 million)
25. Rascal Flatts ($26 million)