Trek to be benchmark for female artists.
Madonna will wrap her Confessions tour tomorrow (Sept. 21) at the Tokyo Dome as the top-grossing tour ever by a female artist. Although final numbers are not all in, tour producer Arthur Fogel puts the tally at $193.7 million from 60 shows that drew nearly 1.2 million in paid attendance.
"Madonna has yet again delivered an incredible show for her fans, and the success of the tour is the ultimate statement," Fogel tells Billboard.biz. "She absolutely belongs at number one."
That gross narrowly puts Madonna over Cher's benchmark of $192.5 million. However, it took Cher an endurance-testing 273 shows between June 2002 and April 2005 to reach that mark on her marathon Farewell tour.
Madonna's Confessions tour followed the same model of the $125 million-grossing Re-Invention tour in 2004 and the $75 million-grossing Drowned World tour in 2001.
Rather than visit 100 global markets a la mega acts like the Rolling Stones and U2, Madonna opted to play multiple nights in a limited number of major international locales. The strategy has led to a staggering $400 million in ticket sales in just six years.