Madonna is set to embark on a world tour beginning Aug. 23 in Cardiff, Wales with dates through the end of the year. Billed as the Sticky & Sweet tour, the trek will span three continents and include between 50-60 shows total, has learned.

Produced globally by Live Nation, Madonna's tour in support of her current chart-topping Warner Bros. release "Hard Candy" -- which debuted atop the Billboard 200 yesterday and Billboard's pan-European sales charts today -- will play stadiums in the U.K. and Europe until the end of September, arenas and a "handful" of stadiums in 16 markets in North America in October and November, and then stadiums in Mexico and South America late November-December. Only the European and North American dates were announced today (May 8).

"I'm thrilled to be involved in another worldwide Madonna extravaganza," Arthur Fogel, chairman of global music for Live Nation, tells Fogel has helmed Madonna's last three world tours, which grossed almost $400 million combined. Her 2006 Confessions tour is, at $194 million, the top-grossing tour ever by a female artist.

The upcoming tour is the first major manifestation of the multi-faceted 10-year deal between Madonna and Live Nation, valued in published reports at $120 million.

"The reality is she's delivered her last album to Warner Bros., and it's a smash, which is great for everybody," Fogel says. "We now have a tremendous opportunity with a tremendous artist to do all kinds of new and innovative things on many different levels, and this tour will be the start of that rollout."

The tour follows a familiar Madonna touring blueprint in that it visits a limited number of markets in a four-month time frame, with multi-night stands in major cities. Ticket on-sale details will be announced today, along with a presale through Live Nation's corporate sponsorship partner Citi. Fogel says ticket prices will be "basically the same as they've been the past two tours," which means primarily in the $55-$350 range.

Here are the announced dates for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour:

Aug. 23: Cardiff, Wales (Millennium Stadium)
Aug. 26: Nice, France (Stade Charles Ehrmann)
Aug. 28: Berlin (Olympic Stadium)
Sep. 2: Amsterdam (Amsterdam Arena)
Sep. 4: Dusseldorf, Germany (LTU Arena)
Sep. 6: Rome (Olympic Stadium)
Sep. 9: Frankfurt (Commerzbank Arena)
Sep. 11: London (Wembley Stadium)
Sep. 20: Paris (Stade de France)
Oct. 3: E. Rutherford, N.J. (Izod Center)
Oct. 6: New York (Madison Square Garden)
Oct. 7: New York (Madison Square Garden)
Oct. 15: Boston (TD BankNorth Garden)
Oct. 18: Toronto (Air Canada Centre)
Oct. 22: Montreal (Bell Centre)
Oct. 26: Chicago (United Center)
Oct. 30: Vancouver (BC Place Stadium)
Nov. 1: Oakland, Calif. (Oracle Arena)
Nov. 4: San Diego (Petco Park)
Nov. 6: Los Angeles (Dodger Stadium)
Nov. 8: Las Vegas (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Nov. 11: Denver (Pepsi Center)
Nov. 16: Houston (Minute Maid Park)
Nov. 19: Philadelphia (Wachovia Center)
Nov. 22: Atlantic City, N.J. (Boardwalk Hall)
Nov. 24: Atlanta (Philips Arena)
Nov. 26: Miami (Dolphin Stadium)