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U2 2001's Top Touring Act

N Sync, BSB, DMB also among top-grossing road shows

December 28, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Having played eighty shows across the U.S. this past year, U2 are the top concert earners for 2001, bringing home $109.7 million according to concert trade publication Pollstar. The Elevation Tour was in support of last year's critically acclaimed All That You Can't Leave Behind.

"It would be amazing to have a show that had a really simply straightforward rock & roll band and then to take that somewhere else and into some sort of extraordinary moment visually," the Edge told Rolling Stone last October, while the Elevation was still in the planning stages. The stripped down philosophy -- in stark contrast to the band's lavish Pop Mart tour of 1997 -- paid off, as the Elevation Tour is also the second best-selling tour of all time. The Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge tour is still the highest grossing at $121.2 million.

Following U2 on the list of 2001's highest-grossing tour is 'N Sync, who played forty-three shows this year and took in $86.6 million, besting their own numbers from last year when they took home $76.4 million; the Backstreet Boys who played a whopping ninety-eight shows this year and took home $82.1 million; the Dave Matthews Band (fifty-one shows, $60.5 million); and Elton John/Billy Joel (thirty-one shows, $57.2 million). Rounding out the top ten are Madonna ($54.7 million), Aerosmith ($49.3 million), Janet Jackson ($42.1 million), Eric Clapton ($36.6 million) and Neil Diamond ($35.4 million).

Overall concert ticket sales reached $1.75 billion, with the average ticket price at $47.66, both figures slightly higher than last year's $1.7 billion and $43.75.

7. Incredible Moses Leroy, Electric Pocket Radio (Ultimatum): This young, African-American singer-songwriter-producer-multi-instrumentalist knows pop as well as he does his bedroom studio. A major talent waiting to explode.

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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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