The music industry has minted some new arena and stadium stars lately, but one look at the top-grossing tours of 2012 and you might think we're in a time warp.
Though her album sales are not on par with her 1980s heyday, Madonna can clearly still put glittery butts in seats. According to Pollstar, she easily topped the list of the year's highest-grossing tours with $296.1 million, besting another Reagan-era rival, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, whose tour raked in $210.2 million. Former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters had a very good year as well, pulling in $186.4 million on a list of the top 50 worldwide tours whose combined gross was $3 billion.
Both Madonna and Springsteen sole more than 2.1 million tickets each, averaging more than 31,000 fans per night. But, of course, Madonna also managed to make headlines on an almost nightly basis thanks to the usual flesh-baring and cage-rattling antics, which ranged from her musical tweaking of Lady Gaga, to the waving of fake firearms, flashing of naughty bits and a feud with French right-wing national Front party leader Marine Le Pen.
There were some newer names on the list as well, including Coldplay at #4 ($171.3 million), Lady Gaga (#5, $161.4 million) and the Cirque du Soleil "Michael Jackson: The Immortal" tour (#6, $140.2 million).
Among the other notable names: Metallica (#8, $86.1 million), Red Hot Chili Peppers (#10, $57.8 million), Jennifer Lopez (#13, $52.6 million), Drake (#19, $43.4 million), Radiohead (#21, $42.5 million), Justin Bieber (#23, $40.2 million) and the Black Keys (#27, $38.1 million).
Madonna may have caused controversy during her trip to Russia this year (12) but her headline-grabbing antics helped her land the country's best-selling album of 2012.
The pop superstar's latest record MDNA has been named number one in the Russian end-of-year album chart, ahead of singer Adele and her super-selling hit 21 and Lana Del Rey with Born To Die, who landed at four and five on the countdown respectively, according to Lenta.ru.
Madonna took her MDNA tour to Russia in August (12) and she was subsequently hit with a £6.5 million lawsuit by activists who claimed she illegally promoted homosexuality at her show in St. Petersburg by handing out pink wristbands in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
The lawsuit was subsequently dismissed.
Madonna also hit headlines in Russia in 2012 by speaking out in support of members of punk band Pussy Riot who were jailed for performing a song railing against President Vladimir Putin in February (12).
As part of Madonna's ongoing commitment to support orphans and vulnerable children in poverty stricken Malawi, ten primary schools have been completed that will serve to educate 4,871 children. These schools are located in rural villages across Malawi and are a result of the partnership between Madonna, her charity Raising Malawi and the global nonprofit buildOn. The ten schools, which were scheduled to be built over 18 months, have been completed six months ahead of schedule. Six of the schools are already in use and all ten will be up and running in January 2013 for the first day of school in the New Year.
The project was originally announced early this year as a major initiative of Raising Malawi, which has already provided millions of dollars in support of orphanages, a network of orphan care service providers, health clinics, a scholarship program for girls, and the schools with buildOn.
The location for each school was chosen from a list of communities in need of new infrastructure. The Ministry of Education Office in the Kasungu District was an important partner, providing both the teachers and curriculum after each school was completed.
"I am overjoyed that my commitment along with buildOn's to help educate the children of Malawi has come to fruition. In a country where girls have little opportunity for education, it's additionally inspiring to know that more than half the students attending will be young girls. The fact that more than 4,800 children in Malawi will get to go to school next year is a tremendous step forward for their individual growth and the growth of Malawi," commented Madonna.
Consistently ranked among the world's 20 least developed countries on the UN's Human Development Index, Malawi has long been challenged by economic stagnation and a lack of access to education. With support from Madonna and Raising Malawi, buildOn was able double the reach of its school construction program within a year.
"Madonna's commitment to the children of Malawi is inspiring," said Jim Ziolkowski, founder and CEO of buildOn. "Through Raising Malawi's support we were able to build 10 schools that will educate literally generations of children who need it the most."
There are currently no other details known about the DVD release.
At least 650 Madonna fans in Chile have filed complaints with the national consumer board after a concert this week started late and ended early.
The consumer agency, which defends the rights of Chilean consumers, is talking with the concert organizer to determine why the concert started more than two hours late and was 40 minutes shorter than expected, a statement said.
The agency is also looking into whether the concert breached the terms of the tickets, at which point it could organize a lawsuit or broker a deal to compensate those who feel affected.
The concert Wednesday was Madonna's third in Chile as part of her MDNA world tour. It went on amid torrential rains that caused heavy traffic congestion around the capital, Santiago.
The producers said they skipped the first eight songs as they were waiting for the weather to improve to ensure the singer would be safe.
One year after pop divas like Britney Spears, Adele and Lady Gaga ruled the 2011 Billboard.com Readers' Poll, Madonna dominated the competition in the 2012 edition of our year-end fan forum.
Once Billboard.com readers weighed in on their favorite artists, songs and albums over the past 12 months, Madonna emerged as the 2012 MVP, and came out on top in four other categories.
Madonna's achievements included earning the most votes for favorite Billboard 200 No. 1 album with her chart-topping MDNA; winning the Best Tour crown for her MDNA trek, which grossed more money than any other run this year, according to Billboard Boxscore; nabbing favorite TV performance for her Super Bowl halftime show extravaganza last February; and even winning most memorable feud for her war of words with Lady Gaga.
For that incredible year, Madonna was handed the MVP crown from last year's winner, Britney Spears; in doing so, she topped Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj, who came in second, third and fourth in voting, respectively.
For all categories, visit Billboard.
During her stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Madonna has been working on a secret project in the famous La Boca area. A range of updates on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook has given us the pictures on the left, all posted by collaborators or dancers. It seems that photographer Steven Klein, stylist Arianne Phillips and art director Giovanni Bianco are on board, as well as some of the MDNA dancers, including Adrien Galo, who tweeted "on set ;)" and "Feel lucky… had amazing working day tomorrow dayshoot2."
Dancer Speedylegz revealed a bit more: "Today photoshoot with one of biggest photographer in the world steven Klein and the famous artistic director Giovanni Bianco" - "Dayshoot N2 with Steven Klein… The genius"
The cross and the guns in the pictures seem to suggest it could be a music video for Gang Bang, but several sources deny it's this song that's involved.
Giovani Bianco ruled out another song: "Not working with Madonna and Steven Klein for Love Spent Music Video"
Which song do you think/hope it is? Tell us & discuss.
All 72 shows that were counted so far were pronounced sold-out, together holding a total attendance of 1,635,176 people.
Another 16 shows have yet to be counted, so the final numbers will be even more impressive!
The World Music Awards 2012 will be held in Miami on December 22nd. Madonna is nominated in the following 5 categories:
You can cast your vote now at World Music Awards!
By now everyone knows of Psy and Madonna's epic collaboration stage together from Madonna's recent New York concert - but who knew just how close they'd gotten?
On the December 10 episode of tvN's Taxi, Psy appeared as a guest where the singer talked about his success and experiences abroad.
When asked who the most memorable partner he's worked with was thus far during his past few months of promotions, Psy responded the legendary Madonna remained the most memorable.
He explained, "Madonna was very fascinating. I went to the performance rehearsal and found Madonna laying on the stage floor. After seeing me, Madonna told me, 'On stage you can touch me wherever you want.'"
He went on to the laughter of the set, "Since she's a senior way above me, I did as she wanted!"
The statistic is even more embarrassing to Gaga as Madonna's MDNA Tour tickets are also three times more expensive than briefs for her 'Born This Way' world tour.
The Examiner reports that Lady Gaga's management used under-hand tactics, such as issuing buy-one-get-one-free deals to fans, in order to boost crowd numbers. The singer played in front of a crowd of 50,000 in Peru but only 17,000 tickets were sold.
However, Madonna played in the same venues on the South American leg of her worldwide MDNA Tour and managed to sell-out the stadiums without having to resort to issuing incentives to raise numbers.
The feuding pair have been at each others throats ever since Madonna claimed that Gaga's track 'Born This Way' sounded "familiar" to her 1989 hit Express Yourself. Throughout this year's MDNA Tour, Madonna has mocked the similarities between the two songs by performing a mash-up of Express Yourself and 'Born This Way' followed by a pointed snippet of a track called She's Not Me.
During a show in Atlantic City in September, Madonna dedicated her song Masterpiece to Gaga, before saying: "I love her. I love her. I do love her. Imitation is the highest form of flattery."
Last month, Madonna's famous conical bra was sold for $51,971 (£32,450) at auction. The iconic garment - which was made famous by the Queen of Pop during her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour - fetched twice its estimated price when it went under the hammer at a music memorabilia auction at Christie's.
The 54-year-old singer relies on bag of medical items, such as a facial steamer, and natural remedies to ensure she can perform to her best every night and after a concert she inhales a special saline mist to hydrate her throat.
In an interview on Brazilian TV show 'Caldeirao do Huck' - which was conducted in the bathroom of a Miami hotel room - she said: 'Here in the toilet I have my facial streamer, with eucalyptus, to calm down my voice. I also get some ice on my knee, because my knees hurt a little bit after 88 shows, that's why dancing in high heels is not recommended! The tea is for my throat it is made with tree bark and cinnamon, lemon and honey things that are soothing.
'This is my nebuliser - I sometimes have to hit it to work - it has a saline solution which hydrates my vocal cords.'
Madonna also has several other items she can't do without when she is on the road and she relies on a 1980s cassette player to do her vocal exercises.
The 'Hung Up' hitmaker gets sent tapes by her vocal coach in New York to warm up to and she won't upgrade to modern MP3 files because she says the recordings don't then work as well.
She revealed: 'My vocal coach in New York makes me cassettes for warm-ups and cool downs. This is how you survive a hundred shows. If I put on an iPad it doesn't work, you have to stop, it doesn't flow. And you have to put headphones on and then you can't hear your voice in the room. Maybe this technology will make a comeback.'
~ More interestingly, during the interview Madonna hinted that she got some ideas for new songs during her tour. Could that mean she'll soon hit the studio again...?↑ Back to top of page