Delivering good music is one thing. Being able to replicate that experience onstage is quite another.

Beyoncé definitively scored on both counts this year -- simultaneously strengthening her status as a formidable live concert draw, which no doubt helped propel sales of "I Am...Sasha Fierce" and landed her atop of our year-end Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artists (Female) chart. The singer/songwriter launched her year-long, worldwide tour last March, blanketing the U.S. and Canada before traveling overseas for stops in the Netherlands, France, Germany, the U.K. and Australia. The trek ultimately placed Beyonce on our Top 25 Tours compilation at No. 15, with a gross of more than $57 million for 57 shows.

During the summer, Beyoncé squeezed in an exclusive and intimate four-night engagement at Wynn Las Vegas' Encore Theater. Taped for a concert DVD, those performances also provided one of the focal points for Beyoncé's first network television special on Thanksgiving evening, ABC's "Beyoncé: I Am ... Yours."

Ramping back up in October, the seemingly indefatigable singer visited Korea, Japan, China, Russia and Greece. Before wrapping the world tour in March, Beyoncé -- leading the upcoming Grammy Awards race with 10 nominations -- will also fulfill dates in Brazil, South Africa and South America.

Of the 55 shows that Beyoncé logged as of Sept. 16, she had grossed $53.5 million and drawn 667,509 fans in primarily 15,000-seat arenas, according to Billboard Boxscore. Staged at similar-sized venues, the 2007 Beyoncé Experience tour grossed $24.9 million and attracted 272,521 fans to the 29 shows reported to Boxscore between April 21 and Sept. 8.

And the performance factor will remain a key career component for the singer. In the wake of reports that Wynn Las Vegas officials are in preliminary talks with Beyoncé about more shows, manager and Music World Entertainment president/CEO Mathew Knowles says, "Given the changes in how music is presented in the digital world and the decline of the physical CD, the live experience is becoming more important. That's what will make the difference for artists in the future: do they have the ability to entertain live? And Beyoncé has proven that time after time."

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