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Classic acts rule over concert sales

Reunited bands bring in big business

Musical acts whose debut recordings were made three decades ago dominated the North American concert business in 2007, with half of the top 20 grossing performers having started their careers in the 1970s.

The Police topped the chart by taking in $131.9 million from 54 North American shows, far outdistancing No. 2 seller Kenny Chesney, who made $71.1 million on the same number of shows, according to Pollstar, which tracks the concert business. The Police and Chesney were the only acts to sell more than 1 million tickets in 2007; four acts, one of which was Chesney, did it in 2006.

The Police reunion tour had an average ticket price of $114.32 and sold 1.15 million tickets. While their ticket sales were tops as well, the band’s average ticket price was second to Barry Manilow at $141.72. He played the bulk of his 98 shows at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Chesney barely squeaked past Justin Timberlake, who grossed $70.6 million from 60 concerts.

Two other reunited bands, Van Halen and Genesis, landed in the top 10. The David Lee Roth-led edition of Van Halen pulled in $56.7 million from 39 dates to land in fifth place; Phil Collins and his mates scored $47.6 million from 25 shows.

Rod Stewart ($49 million), Billy Joel ($39.1 million), Roger Waters ($38.3 million) and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band ($38.2 million) were among the other veteran acts on the list.

Besides Chesney, two other country acts made the top 10: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, at No. 6, pulled in $52.3 million from 44 bookings; and Rascal Flatts, at No. 10, generated $41.5 million from 57 outings.

In her final year in Las Vegas, Celine Dion posted the lowest tally of her five-year run, $65.3 million. She performed 113 concerts at Caesars Palace.

Josh Groban, whose “Noel” is likely to be crowned the topselling album of 2007, grossed $43 million from 56 concerts to land at No. 9.

The tour that caused the biggest ruckus in terms of ticket demand, the “Hannah Montana”/Miley Cyrus tour, grossed $36 million from 49 gigs. Average ticket price to her shows was $54.16.

The lone Latin act in the top 20 was the Mexican rock band Mana, which pulled in $33.9 million from 46 perfs.

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