While this year's pop charts have been dominated by young singers, it is veteran music stars, led by Madonna, who are commanding big money in tour ticket sales, according to a new Billboard list.
Madonna, 54, topped Billboard's list of highest-grossing live tours, earning an estimated US$228.4 million (NZ$271 million) in ticket sales from her sold-out ninth worldwide tour in support of her 12th studio album MDNA.
The singer will wrap her tour in South America this weekend, after performing more than 80 shows across the world starting in Israel in May.
Madonna came ahead of pop star Lady Gaga, who landed at No. 6, with ticket sales of US$124.9 million from her worldwide Born This Way Ball tour. Gaga, 26, is currently midway through her tour, which kicked off in South Korea in April, and will wrap in Oklahoma in March 2013.
Music publication Billboard compiled its list through estimated gross ticket sales figures from Billboard box scores, which tracks concert tours, ticket prices and sales.
The top five highest-grossing tour acts of 2012 included Bruce Springsteen, 63, and the E Street band at No. 2 with US$199 million from 72 shows and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, 69, at No. 3 with $186 million.
Cirque Du Soleil's homage to late singer Michael Jackson in The Immortal World Tour ranked No. 4 with US$147.3 million over 183 shows, and British rock band Coldplay was fifth with US$147.2 million over 67 shows.
The only other young stars in the list of 25 top-grossing tours was Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, 18, at No. 20 with US$30 million from 29 shows as part of his ongoing Believe tour, and country-pop darling Taylor Swift, 23, who raked in US$26 million from 21 shows from her Speak Now World Tour.
Last year, Swift ranked No. 5 on Billboard's list with an estimated US$97 million in ticket sales from her Speak Now World Tour, while Bieber came in at No. 15 with US$44 million.
Swift will embark on her third worldwide concert tour in support of her studio album Red in March 2013.