With Madonna's ongoing "MDNA" tour sweeping away all challengers to take the title of Top Tour of 2012, the gauntlet has been laid down for 2013's batch of headliners. Luckily, some of the world's biggest rock, pop and country stars are set to head out on the road and take the stage at a few of the biggest arenas on the planet. Here's a guide to five tours to keep an eye on in the coming year.
Bon Jovi, "Because We Can"
The boys from Jersey have found a new gear in touring over the course of the past decade, with each global tour beating the numbers on the previous trek. This time out, Bon Jovi are scaling prices in an attempt to not only capture their market value as an elite touring band, but also maintain their appeal to blue collar fans. If they work as much as they did the last few tours, expect Bon Jovi to top $200 million before they are done. The tour is promoted by AEG Live, booked by CAA, and directed by Paul Korzilius, Bon Jovi Management.
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Lady Gaga, "Born This Way Ball"
Lady Gaga put up more than $125 million in gross and well over 1 million in attendance this year -- without playing a date in the U.S. She hits North American shores in January, beginning with a double at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., with dates on the books well into March. Despite ill-founded scuttlebutt about a softening in demand, Gaga will sell out arenas coast-to-coast, with doubles in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York at both Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Madison Square Garden. The tour is produced by Live Nation Global Touring and booked by WME.
1D did well indeed at Live Nation amphitheaters in the summer of 2012, but they will take things up a notch next summer in a tour of North American sheds and arenas, beginning June 13 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. That's after a barnstorming Feb.-April run through the U.K. that includes nearly 20 plays at the O2 in London (sometimes as many as four in a day) and nearly 80 plays in all. Then Europe. Depending on how all this is reported to Billboard Boxscore, 1D, booked by CAA, is shaping up as one of the hottest tours of 2013.
Luke Bryan, "Dirt Road Diaries"
Sometimes it's just your time, and 2013 is Luke Bryan's time. Bryan is one of the hottest of a cadre of young country stars and, while he headlined successfully in 2012, spent most of the year out with his homie Jason Aldean. But Bryan will begin a full-blown headlining career in earnest in January with Dirt Road Diaries, and will put up super strong box office numbers all year. Because it's his time. Bryan is managed by Red Light and booked by WME.
Rihanna's 2013 Diamonds world tour, produced by Live Nation Global Touring, begins March 8 in Buffalo, N.Y., where she will begin her journey to take her place among the elite of female touring acts, period. She wraps North America with a double at Barclays Center in Brooklyn May 4-5, then heads to Europe and the U.K., including a double at Twickenham Stadium with David Guetta. Sources say early on-sales are "smokin' hot." Watch Rihanna burn in '13.