Elton John came out on top in Pollstar’s 2019 mid-year touring charts with a $82.6 million gross, based on box-office earnings from a segment of his global “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. The veteran rocker sold 608,766 tickets for the 42 shows he played between November 2018 and March 2019, a period that encompassed the last four months of the tour’s initial North American leg and his first three weeks in Europe. John has a long way to go before he really says farewell, so he may be dominating Pollstar’s charts for some time to come.
He just edged out Pink, who trails close behind John on this year’s worldwide chart with $81.8 million for her “Beautiful Trauma” tour. Despite not beating out John globally, Pink is the highest earner in the North American charts, which she nabbed during 2018’s mid-year report, too. She began her tour in March 2018 and has grossed more than $250 million to date, according to Pollstar.
Coming in third is Justin Timberlake, who racked up a competitive $75.5 million for his “Man of the Woods” tour. Other performers who made into the top 10 were, in order, Metallica, Fleetwood Mac, Ed Sheeran, KISS, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band and Travis Scott. Nine of these artists are veterans of the Pollstar list, including Sheeran, who topped the rankings at this time last year. The newcomer to their ranks is Scott, a hip-hop performer cracking the top 10 for the first time with $51.7 million.
Not surprisingly, long-familiar names dominate both the American and global touring charts for the six-month period. But Scott wasn’t the only newcomer to make an impact. Post Malone earned a spot at No. 20 taking in $36.4 million during his international tours, which included jaunts in Europe followed by Australia and New Zealand. Shawn Mendes also found success at home and abroad; the 20 year-old singer found himself ranked at No. 25 on the charts after earning $25.4 million for 362,418 tickets sold.
Joining the aforementioned artists in the top 25 were Cher, Eric Church, Mumford & Sons, BTS, Michael Buble, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Eminem, Ariana Grande, Andre Rieu, Phil Collins, Luis Miguel and Billy Joel.
Although BTS came in only at No. 14, they were the act with by far the highest average gross. Their $44 million tally was based on just six shows in three cities during the surveyed period, putting their average for that bare handful of gigs at a whopping $14.6 million.
The act that sold the greatest number of tickets may be a surprising one — Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who played to 895,000 paying fans. They played 88 shows that showed up in Pollstar’s tallies. The second busiest as seen in the sheer number of dates tallied was Elton, who is not squandering opportunities to play every market possible on his way out the door; he did 56 gigs during these six months.