Lady Gaga wraps her lengthy Monster Ball tour tomorrow night (May 6) in Mexico City, bringing to a close the biggest tour ever by a debut headlining artist.
Dating back to November of 2009, Lada Gaga's 200 reported Monster shows grossed $227.4 million and drew 2.5 million people, according to numbers reported to Billboard Boxscore. Depending on how several other tours shake out this year, Monster Ball is flirting with becoming one of the top 10 highest-grossing tours of all time.
"We're humbled by the tremendous success of the Monster Ball tour," Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter told Billboard.biz. "The reasonably priced tickets, coupled with a great live experience, led it to being a must-see event."
Of course, Gaga is one of the finalists at the Billboard Music Awards, taking place in Las Vegas on May 22.
Both conceptually and with regards to venues, the tour grew with Lady Gaga's popularity, evolving from a theater trek to a stadium production. She played North America, Europe, Mexico, the U.K., New Zealand, Australia and Japan primarily as a theatrically produced arena show, but also ventured outdoors for stadiums and a memorable performance at Lollapalooza 2010 in Chicago. Booked by William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and managed by Troy Carter, Gaga worked with various promoters on the first leg of the tour, but cut a tour deal with Live Nation beginning in February of last year and taking her through the end of the tour. The Live Nation portion of the tour-166 of the 200 reported dates-was produced under Live Nation's Toronto-based Global Touring Division, headed by Global Touring Chairman Arthur Fogel, which also helms U2's record-setting 360 tour.
Gaga's tour has been a monster beyond just the box office numbers, with her army of dedicated fans known as "little monsters" packing houses and often dressing in outlandish style. Along the way, Gaga grew from a hot pop artist to one of the biggest acts on the planet. She won the Breakthrough Artist award at the 2010 Billboard Touring Awards and was named Billboard's Artist of the Year in 2010.
The career arc continues to gain momentum and spans numerous formats and media. "Born This Way," the lead single and title track from her third studio set, due May 23, is the year's third-biggest selling single, with 2.5 million downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Only Katy Perry's "E.T." (2.8 million) and Cee Lo Green's "F**k You (Forget You)" (2.6 million) have shifted more. Gaga's "The Fame" finished 2010 as the year's sixth-biggest selling album, with 1.6 million sold. Overall, the set has moved 4.4 million. So far, Gaga has notched nine top 10 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 1 with "Just Dance," "Poker Face" and "Born This Way."