LOS ANGELES - Pop and rock music legends bested their younger chart-topping competition on the concert trail in 2012, according to data released on Friday by trade publication Pollstar.
Pop matriarch Madonna, 54, led all competition, grossing some $296.1 million in ticket sales in her 88-show world tour. She topped Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band ($210.2 million) and Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters ($186.4 million).
The elder statesmen of the music world, while no longer topping the charts or scoring radio hits, are doing well because their older audiences can afford to pay higher ticket prices, Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar editor, told Reuters.
"Certainly the older acts charge more because they can get away with it," he said.
The Rolling Stones were able to command an eye-popping $529.51 average ticket price. Their five-show tour in November and December grossed $35.5 million, good enough for No. 33 on the list.
British rockers Coldplay were No. 4 on the list, taking in $171.3 million. Lady Gaga placed fifth grossing $161.4 million while at No. 6 Cirque Du Soleil's tribute to late King of Pop Michael Jackson grossed $140.2 million during a 172-show tour.
Teen sensation Justin Bieber, who played a 35-show tour, failed to crack the top 20, taking in $40.2 million, at No. 23.
Acts that cemented their reputations decades ago dominated the top-grossing tours even while playing fewer shows.
Country stars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw placed seventh grossing $96.5 million in 23 shows, while heavy metal pioneers Metallica were one spot lower at $86.1 million over 30 shows.
Some artists have been enticed to jack-up their own ticket prices after seeing how much more re-sellers were able to command, Bongiovanni explained.
"Now it's a matter of how much money can I make," he said. "Some artists like Springsteen are very popular but if you look at their average ticket price it's nowhere near Roger Waters, Madonna and Lady Gaga."
The average face-value ticket price for a Springsteen concert was $91.95, which was well below the $140.38 average for Madonna and $110.96 for Roger Waters.
Eight separate Cirque Du Soleil shows appeared in the top 50, which did not include the circus company's non-traveling shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere. All told, the Canadian company may have earned close to $1 billion in gross ticket sales, Bongiovanni said.
Elton John ($69.9 million) and Red Hot Chili Peppers ($57.8 million) rounded out the top 10.