It should come as no surprise to anyone who saw one of their multiple massive tours that classic rockers the [artist id="515"]Rolling Stones[/artist] topped Billboard magazine's list of Top Touring Artists of the 2000s. What's shocking, though, is that the Mick Jagger and company are just one of three acts that raked in more than $800 million from 2000-2009.
Unstoppable touring juggernauts the Stones took the #1 slot with more than $869 million in grosses for 264 shows that played to more than 8.2 million fans over the past decade, followed closely behind by [artist id="1022"]U2[/artist], who banked $844 million from more than 9.8 million fans for 288 shows, all of which were sold-out. The latter is an honor none of the other acts on the list can boast of.
[artist id="1098"]Madonna[/artist], the top-grossing female artist, rounded out the $800 million club with grosses of more than $801 million for 248 shows (244 sold-out) that played to 6.3 million fans.
The top five was filled out by road hog Bruce Springsteen ($688 million, 403 shows with 248 sell-outs in front of 8.6 million fans) and Elton John ($604 million, 541 shows with 470 sell-outs in front of 5.8 million fans).
Among the other notables on the list: #6 Celine Dion ($537 million for 792 shows that played to 4.1 million) and the Dave Matthews Band, which had the highest audience figures on the list, with 11.2 million attending 547 shows (282 sell-outs) for a #7 ranking and a $505 million gross.
Country superstar Kenny Chesney was at #8 ($478 million, 622 shows, 9.2 million fans), followed by Bon Jovi (#9, $419 million, 249 shows, 5.4 million fans) and piano man Billy Joel (#10, $418 million, 241 shows, 4.1 million fans).
Reunited '80s act the Police were at #11 ($362 million, 144 shows, 3.3 million fans), just ahead of the perennially touring Eagles ($348 million, 240 shows, 3.1 million fans). Troubled rockers Aerosmith were not far behind (#14, $292 million, 320 shows with only 61 sell-outs to 4.6 million), and Metallica came in at #19 ($228 million, 187 shows, 3.6 million fans).
The only (relatively) contemporary act to crack the top 25 was Britney Spears, who landed at #21 with $216 million in grosses on 255 shows that drew 3.7 million fans.