George Strait, the reigning Entertainer of the Year for both the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association, is nearing the end of his Cowboy Rides Away tour that began its final leg in January. The country legend earns his fourth No. 1 this year on Billboard’s weekly ranking of Hot Tours with $6.4 million in ticket sales from four of the final six arenas on his performance schedule. Sold out performances in Wichita, Denver, Portland and Tacoma, WA, drew more than 70,000 fans to see the veteran entertainer’s touring sendoff. The overall gross from Cowboy Rides Away now tops $72 million from 40 sold out shows since launching in January of 2013. Concerts booked in two arenas and two stadiums remain before his final performance on June 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The tour’s last show will include support from an all-star slate of country music entertainers.
Black Sabbath takes the second slot on Hot Tours with $3.6 million in revenue reported from four arenas during the 2014 North American leg of the its world tour. Following a handful of appearances in 2012, the band began touring extensively worldwide in support of its most recent studio album 13, released last June. In 2013, the veteran rock English band was on the road in Australia and New Zealand, North and South America and Europe through late December. This year’s North American leg kicked off at the end of March covering primarily Canadian markets and will run through April 26. Four arena dates in Canada land on this week’s tally including a performance at Montreal’s Bell Centre. A sellout crowd of 12,195 packed the arena on April 7 with a sold ticket take of $1.1 million. A second European jaunt is on the books this summer, kicking off in Moscow at the beginning of June.
Billy Joel earns the No. 3 ranking, making his 10th appearance on the weekly top 10 list since the beginning of the year. The iconic Piano Man is performing at arenas throughout North America during 2014, along with his ongoing residency at Madison Square Garden in New York City where he is booked to play one concert every month this year. In this Hot Tours report, his $1.4 million sales total comes from a concert in downtown Louisville, Ky. at the three-year old KFC Yum! Center. The arena performance on April 6 was a sellout with 15,979 fans in the house.