Saturday, September 12

Touring Makes Cents

Did you make it out to the I Am Music tour this year with Lil Wayne? Seems like most of North America did considering Wayne earned a cool 42 million which appears to be the highest grossing hip hop outing this year. The billboard is reporting this is the most lucrative rap jaunt ever tracked! This would be due to the 78 headlining arena and amphitheater concerts in North America from December 14, 2008, through September 6, 2009, drawing nearly 804,000 fans, according to Shawn Gee, Lil Wayne's tour producer and tour business manager.

"It's definitely one of the biggest in the last couple of years," Gee tells "Our plan was to prove that Wayne was a viable headlining arena artist."

The second highest-grossing rap tour that Billboard has tracked was Jay-Z's 2008 excursion with Mary J. Blige, which grossed $34.6 million and drew 310,694 concertgoers to 28 shows. Kanye West's 2008 Glow In the Dark tour ranks third, having pulled in $30.8 million from 49 concerts that attracted 507,853 fans.

Other top money-making tours in recent years include 2005's Eminem/50 Cent Anger Management tour, which grossed $22.7 million from 23 shows; and a 50 Cent tour in 2003 that pulled nearly $23 million in ticket sales, much of it co-headlining with Jay-Z on the Roc-the-Mic tour.

Although no specific touring plans are currently in the works, Gee believes that Lil Wayne will continue as an arena-sized headliner.

"We definitely want to capitalize on the success we've had and want to continue building Wayne as a touring artist and not just an artist that tours," he says. "We established him as a headline artist and I think it grows from there."

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