Elton John, Dave Matthews Band Named Top-Earning Live Acts For '98

Last year Elton John recast his classic Marilyn Monroe-inspired ballad, "Candle in the Wind," into a tribute for the late Princess Diana that went on to become the biggest-selling single off all time. Now John has followed up that feat by being named the biggest draw of the 1998 touring circuit, as his concerts grossed some $46.2 million, according to figures just released by Pollstar.

Following up Elton John was the jam rocking outfit the Dave Matthews Band, who raked in an estimated $40.1 million. The Dave Matthews Band has steadily built up a Grateful Dead-like following in the twenty-something and thirty-something crowd, but unlike the Dead during its live prime, DMB albums continue to remain viable commodities -- as the group's most recent effort, "Before These Crowded Streets," debuted at number one last May (see "Dave Matthews Band Bumps 'Titanic' From Top Of Chart").

Other notable rock acts landing in the upper half of the

Pollstar's list included such veteran draws as Eric Clapton at number six with $33.6 million, Janet Jackson at number eight with $33.1 million and the Rolling Stones at number 10 with $31.8 million. Rounding out the list were Pearl Jam, who have just released a concert album, "Live on Two Legs," culled from material recorded during its '98 tour, and the Spice Girls, who pulled in $20.9 million even though Ginger Spice left the group prior to its U.S. tour.

Pollstar's list of the top concert money-earners for 1998:

  • 1. Elton John - $46.2 million
  • 2. Dave Matthews Band - $40.1 million
  • 3. Celine Dion - $38.1 million
  • 4. Yanni - $37.4 million
  • 5. Garth Brooks - $37.2 million
  • 6. Eric Clapton - $33.6 million
  • 7. Shania Twain - $33.5 million
  • 8. Janet Jackson - $33.1 million
  • 9. George Strait Country Music Festival - $33 million
  • 10. Rolling Stones - $31.8 million
  • 11. Jimmy Buffett - $30.2 million
  • 12. Lilith Fair - $28.3 million
  • 13. Billy

    Joel - 26.6 million

  • 14. Aerosmith - $25.8 million
  • 15. Jimmy Page/Robert Plant - $24.9 million
  • 16. Metallica - $24.7 million
  • 17. Phish - $23.3 million
  • 18. Rod Stewart - $21.6 million
  • 19. Pearl Jam - $21.3 million
  • 20. Spice Girls - $20.9 million