Forget your sales projections and business models and all that other Dragon's Den guff – if you really want to make money, you need to strap yourself into a giant glittery cross and sing bad techno like Madonna.
Because even though there is not a vaguely religious person in the world not staggering around clutching at their chest with offence at the crucifixion stunt that Madonna keeps doing on her current world tour, Madonna's Confessions tour is now the highest-earning tour by a female artist ever, having taken around $193.7 million. Funnily enough, though, Madonna's tour sold really badly – the $193.7 million figure only comes from the sale of ten of Madonna's heavingly overpriced concert tickets, three of her concert programmes and a promotional 'Madonna Hearts Jesus' T-shirt bought in the lobby during the performance of one of Madonna's rubbish songs.
Madonna's Confessions world tour will come to an end on Thursday, having trundled across three continents and offending religious leaders in America and England and Italy and Germany and Russia with its big finale of Madonna singing a dreadful song atop a giant mirrored crucifix while pictures of sad Africans look out at the audience. So on Friday morning, Madonna can take off her slightly-too-young H&M wear, throw her mountains of used toilet seats into the bin, start using her real hands again for a change and go back to what she really is at heart; a 48-year-old woman with a hernia, a set of weird religious ideals, an apparently unstable marriage and a young child who thinks she's gay.
However, Madonna returns to normality a considerably richer woman – Madonna's Confessions tour has been named by Billboard as the highest-earning female tour ever, taking $193.7 million. This figure nudges Madonna just past the $192.5 million that Cher earnt during her farewell tour, although it took Cher three years and 273 concerts to reach this figure, while Madonna managed to reach hers with just 60 shows. That's proof, if proof was needed, that paying to see the outline of a 48-year-old woman's labia through obscenely-stretched lycra is infinitely preferable to seeing he outline of a 60-year-old woman's labia through obscenely-stretched lycra. Madonna's tour producer Arthur Fogel told Billboard:
"Madonna has yet again delivered an incredible show for her fans, and the success of the tour is the ultimate statement. She absolutely belongs at number one."
Of course, all the controversy that Madonna has courted with her crucifixion stunt has helped made the Confessions tour the draw it has been – her previous two tours have only taken a meagre-in-comparison $125 million and $75 million – so we can all expect the level of controversy raised a notched when Madonna releases her Madonna Rapes A Goose With A Broomstick Onstage album in 2008.
[story by Stuart Heritage]