Madonna's take hardly borderline


If anyone had any doubt that touring is where the money is in today's music business, a look at Billboard's top 2008 moneymakers should hammer the point home.

Regardless of genre, retail sales or radio play, each of the 20 acts on the list toured in 2008. For almost all of them, touring generated the most revenue. And in a year when recorded-music sales declined again, many earned more at the boxoffice than ever before.

Madonna was No. 1 on the list with $242.2 million. She only had the 50th-best-selling album in the country and ranked 14th on the list of digital-track sellers but had the highest-earning 2008 tour.

Madonna will perform 25 shows in the U.K. and Europe in the summer, which will add to the take of the top-grossing tour by a female or solo artist.

The top-five moneymakers are also the five acts that earned the most on tour, and in the same order.

Ray Waddell is an executive director at Billboard.