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Madonna Wraps Record-Breaking Sticky & Sweet Tour in Israel

September 3, 2009 10:03 AM ET

After 85 shows performing songs from Hard Candy and her 26-year catalog, Madonna has wrapped her Sticky & Sweet tour with a pair of gigs at Israel's Yehoshua Gardens. All told, the numbers for the singer's year-long global trek are jaw-dropping: $408 million grossed, more than 3.5 million fans attended and 32 countries hit, according to Live Nation, the tour's producer. The figures make Sticky & Sweet the highest-grossing tour every by a solo act, and the second-highest grossing trek of all time. Madonna even broke her own record: 2006's Confessions tour held the honor of most successful solo tour with a $194 million gross. Take a bow, indeed.

Sticky & Sweet up close: photos from Madonna's tour.

"Sometimes getting onstage is the easiest thing in the world," Madonna tells Rolling Stone in our new issue. "Other times, it's like, 'Can someone please hit me with a stun gun?' "

Rolling Stone was there when Madonna's tour hit New York on its second U.S. stop last October, and when the Material Girl played an exclusive club show with Justin Timberlake to debut Hard Candy tracks (check out photos from the tiny gig here.)

Madonna's next project is greatest-hits set Celebration, which is due later this month. Earlier this week, she unleashed a video for one of the collection's two new songs, "Celebration," produced by Paul Oakenfold. Watch the clip and get the full Celebration track list.

Check out video from Madonna's last date on Sticky & Sweet:

More Madonna:
Madonna: The Rolling Stone Covers
50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock & Roll: Madonna at the VMAs in 1984
The Immortals - Madonna by Britney Spears

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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