U2 raked in $156 million from 25 shows in 21 North American cities in 2011, making the band the highest-grossing touring act of the year, according to Pollstar. Worldwide, the group pulled in $231.9 million for the year.
Taylor Swift just missed the $100 million mark in North America, earning $97.7 million over 80 dates in 59 cities on her “Speak Now” tour. Other top-grossing acts were Kenny Chesney ($84.6 million), Lady Gaga ($63.7 million) and Bon Jovi ($57.1 million), who were the biggest earners of 2010.
Rounding out the top 10 were Elton John, Sade, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Watch the Throne” tour, Lil Wayne and Celine Dion. Worldwide, the reunion tour of British teen-pop act Take That finished a close second to U2 with $224 million earned, followed by Bon Jovi, Swift and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, who took in $103.6 million. The top 25 acts in North America for the year grossed a total of $1.19 billion, down a fraction from $1.24 billion in 2010.
Pollstar, the concert-business trade magazine, tracks ticket sales by calendar year, while Billboard uses a slightly different calendar, this year from November 1st, 2010 through November 8th, 2011. According to Billboard, the highest-grossing worldwide tours for the year were U2 ($293.3 million) and Bon Jovi ($192.9 million), followed by Take That, Waters and Swift.