When it comes to concert tours, 2018 is likely a year we won't forget. Fans experienced several record-breaking, money-making tours this year with Taylor Swift, Elton John and many others hitting the road. Let's look back at the highest grossing tours of the year, starting with Taylor. The talented blonde brought in the big bucks with her worldwide "Reputation" stadium tour, which kicked off on May 8 and wrapped up on Nov. 21. Once all the receipts were tallied, it emerged that it was the highest grossing tour in U.S. history with 38 American dates earning $266.1 million on ticket sales of over 2 million, Billboard reported. Taylor bested previous title holders the Rolling Stones. She also broke her own record — which she'd initially set with 2015's "1989" tour — for the highest grossing tour by a female artist in North American history. Keep reading to see what other concert treks made major money this year…
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Bruno Mars earned quite a nest egg from his "24K Magic" tour. The superstar singer's world tour is estimated to have grossed $147 million in 2018 so far, with an overall gross of $240 million and counting. The concert series, which began in March 2017, sold more than 2.3 million tickets and Bruno still has shows left to play! Cha-ching!
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Ed Sheeran is on track to have one of the highest grossing tours of the decade! The British crooner's "÷ (Divide)" tour has earned over $383.2 million since it began in March 2017, with over 34.3 million tickets sold since January 2018 — and don't expect the money train to stop any time soon. Ed's tour isn't scheduled to end until August 2019, guaranteeing him more huge paydays.
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Beyonce and JAY-Z ran away with a few hundred million dollars from their "On the Run II" tour. The Carters' global concert trek, which began in June and ended in October, scored the power couple a cool $253.5 million according to Billboard Boxscore.
Kenny Chesney ruled the country music game with his "Trip Around the Sun" tour. The North American concert series, which came to a close in August, earned $114.3 million with nearly 1.3 million tickets sold. In fact, the tour now stands as Kenny's highest grossing tour ever.
More than 50 years after his career began, Paul McCartney is still packing venues. The Beatles frontman has brought in $28 million so far from his "Freshen Up" world tour. Paul is scheduled to play several more shows globally, so expect that total to rise exponentially.
Britain's Depeche Mode raked in the big bucks from their "Global Spirit" tour. The concert series grossed $202 million overall, with a reported 1.5 million fans in attendance. Of that total, $46 million comes from concerts that have occurred since the beginning of 2018.
Luke Bryan earned a nice chunk of change from his "What Makes You Country" tour playing arenas and stadiums alike. The concert series, which began in February and concluded in October, grossed over $65.5 million.
K-Pop has officially taken over America! Band BTS brought their "Love Yourself" tour to the States in 2018 and the move paid off. The K-Pop band played only 12 U.S. dates in six cities and demand was intense — so intense that, according to online ticket reseller StubHub, the average ticket price for BTS show seat was $440!
Elton John is touring for the last time and his retirement show is bringing in the dough. The "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour, which began in September and is scheduled to end in 2021, sold out its first 60 shows within hours. Elton currently grosses $1.4 million per tour stop, according to Pollstar, which translates to $420 million in ticket sales over the trek's 300 dates.
Katy Perry netted millions upon millions from touring this year. The pop singer's "Witness: The Tour" concert series, which began in September 2017, grossed more than $76.9 million total, with $48.8 million earned in 2018. In fact, the tour was so lucrative that it became Katy's second-most successful tour to date and helped her land the top spot on Forbes' top-earning women in music list for the June 2017 to June 2018 timeframe.
Phil Collins is touring North America for the first time in 12 years and it's definitely paying off. The singer's "Not Dead Yet" tour has grossed over $49 million so far, and that doesn't include any of the upcoming ticket sales from his U.S., Canada and Oceania shows.
The Eagles are still raking in the dough nearly 50 years after they got started. The rock band's latest concert series has grossed over $84 million as of June 2018. They still have several more shows to play so that number is only going up.
Pink knows how to put on a show and she gets paid handsomely for it. The singer's "Beautiful Trauma" world tour, which began in March 2018 and is scheduled to end in May 2019, has already reportedly grossed $100 million and is expected to bring in $275 million total by tour's end.
Justin Timberlake knows how to draw a crowd. As of August 2018, the former *NSYNC singer had earned more than $125 million from his "Man of the Woods" tour, which began in March 2018. JT still has plenty of shows left to play so we know his cash flow is only going to increase.
Billy Joel has been touring for four years straight and is still selling out shows. The music legend's "Billy Joel in Concert" tour, which began in 2014, grossed over $226 million total, with $34.2 million earned in 2018. He still has a few shows left before the end of year, so look out for more money coming soon.
Harry Styles has proven, once again, he doesn't need One Direction to succeed. The former boybander's "Harry Styles: Live on Tour" concert series grossed over $61 million, with more than 797,000 fans in attendance at 89 shows.
Drake knows how to get the party (and the money) started. The rapper, who is touring with hip-hop group Migos, has been bringing in a ton of cash on his "Aubrey & The Three Amigos" tour. Tickets for just 32 dates during the fall portion of the concert trek have been going for an average of $453 apiece, according to ticket resale site StubHub.
Quality music never gets old, and no one has proven that more than the Rolling Stones. The iconic band's 47th tour, "No Filter," grossed $237.8 million with over 1.5 million fans in attendance. Nearly 60 years later and the Stones are still killing it!
If there's one thing U2 knows how to do, it's put on a show (and make a ton of money). The Irish rock band's "Experience + Innocence" tour has earned $83.5 million with more than 582,811 tickets sold. They still have several more shows to play, so their total earnings are only going up.
The Foo Fighters also brought in a nice chunk of change from touring this year. The rock band's "Concrete and Gold" tour, which began in June 2017 and ended in October 2018, earned a reported $80.3 million total, with $53.6 million earned in 2018.
Maroon 5 is making it rain with their "Red Pill Blues" tour. Tickets for fall 2018 shows on the band's sixth world concert trek, which kicked off in March, have had an average ticket price of $180, according to ticket reseller StubHub. With the final show not happening until June 2019, the tour is sure to make a ton of dough.
Roger Waters is still performing — and making a fortune from it — nearly 54 years after founding Pink Floyd. The British rocker's "Us + Them" tour, which opened in May 2017 and is set to end in December 2018, has grossed $94.7 million so far, with $60.7 million earned in the first half of 2018.
Bruce Springsteen has made quite a bit of cash from his concerts. His "Springsteen on Broadway" residency has made $45.8 million so far, according to Pollstar, making it one of the top 100 shows worldwide this year.
Shania Twain is back on tour and bringing in some serious cash. The country singer's "Now" tour, which began in May and ends in December, has already grossed over $30.9 million with 368K fans in attendance. Shania still has several shows left to play so we're sure the money will keep rolling in.
Luis Miguel's "Mexico Por Siempre" tour is bringing in millions upon millions. The concert series, which began in February and is scheduled to end in December, has grossed $49 million so far, with over 458,596 fans in attendance (and counting).
Sam Smith's "The Thrill of It All" tour has been earning major money all year. The world concert trek, which began in March and ends in November, raked in $27 million as of June.
Kendrick Lamar has no reason to be "humble" after dominating arenas worldwide. The rapper's "Damn" tour, which started in July 2017 and ended in July 2018, grossed $62.7 million from 52 shows, with $21.3 million earned in 2018.
Metallica has been performing for two years straight and their bank accounts are thanking them. The metal band's "WorldWired" tour, which began in February 2016, has grossed over $211.4 million, with $40.6 million earned so far in 2018. Metallica will continue to tour until August 2019, so the money will keep rolling in.
Bon Jovi first started touring in 1984 and 34 years later, they're still selling out shows. The rock band's "This House is Not for Sale" tour has grossed $83.4 million so far, with over 471,639 fans in attendance.
The Killers also gained millions and millions in revenue this year. The band's "Wonderful Wonderful" world tour, which ended in September 2018, grossed over $34.8 million from 135 shows worldwide.
Music wasn't the only genre of entertainment to bring in the bucks this year — comedians also made some serious cash. Kevin Hart's "Irresponsible" tour has grossed $38.7 million so far, with several more shows to go. Kevin grosses an average of $1 million per show, according to Pollstar, so he can expect a much bigger payday by the end of the year.
Jennifer Lopez might be "Jenny from the block" but she's got major cash, thanks to her Las Vegas residency. Though technically not a tour, J.Lo's "All I Have" concerts grossed $97.5 million over the course of two years, with more than $38 million earned in 2018 alone.
Singer Romeo Santos made quite a bit of money playing arenas this year. The New York native's 23-date "Golden" tour has grossed $35.8 million so far, with over 381K tickets sold.
Pop-rock band Imagine Dragons is raking in the dough. Their "Evolve" world tour has netted over $33.2 million as of June 2018 — a number that's only going up considering the tour goes through November.
A constant on every "best shows of the year" list, Cirque du Soleil continues to find success on tour. The brand's "Totem" show has earned $28.7 million so far this year, with over 867K fans in attendance.
Legendary rock band Queen and "American Idol" alum Adam Lambert have turned out to be a very lucrative combination. The collaborating musicians' tour, which began in 2017, grossed over $53.6 million total, with at least $28 million in earned in 2018.
He may not a big name to mainstream music fans, but Dutch violinist Andre Rieu is a huge box-office draw in the classical category. The concert leader has made $27.9 million from his tour as of June 2018 and is expected to bring in even more, with over 750K fans having attended his shows already.
Combine two legendary rock bands and what do you get? A whole lot of money. American rock band Journey and British rock band Def Leppard paired up for an epic six-month tour this year and brought home more than $87.3 million in revenue.
Dead and Company rocked out all summer and have the checks to prove it. The band's "Dead & Company" 2018 summer tour grossed over $38 million total, with more than 370K tickets sold.
Andrea Bocelli — who sang during Princess Eugenie's royal wedding in October — has the voice of an angel that people will gladly pay big money to hear. The Italian singer's tour has grossed $25.3 million as of June 2018 and is on pace to make much, much more before year's end.