Shania Twain Lost $145 Million During Her Retirement

by Noiz 13. March 2015 10:51

Shania Twain Lost $145 Million During Her Retirement

"This is going to be a big, big tour for me because it's going to be my last."

The above quote is from the “Queen of Country Pop” Shania Twain.  The best-selling female artist in the history of country music has pretty much been on the sidelines for the past decade.  She’s returning in 2015 with her ultimate concert tour and an album.

Twain hopes to release her first new studio album in 13 years on her 50th birthday.  Eilleen Regina Edwards from Windsor, Ontario breaks the half-century mark on August 28.

Her “Rock This Country Tour” begins July 5 in Seattle.  Her final concert ever takes place Aug. 24 in Fresno, California.  The Shania Twain tour is set to visit Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles.

This will be Twain’s first tour since her 2003-2004 “Up!” trek.

Retirement
Twain’s hiatus from the music industry is well documented.  Between 2004 and now, the artist has only released a few morsels of music and made a smattering of public appearances.

Many believe Twain’s decade-long break from the spotlight was due to her husband, producer Robert “Mutt Lange,” sleeping with her best friend.  That sordid affair actually happened a few years into her self-imposed exile. 

While the betrayal certainly contributed to her absence it was actually the pressure of performing and vocal problems that started her premature retirement in 2004.

The Million Dollar Question
Perhaps it’s more complicated than that.  Perhaps it’s less complicated.  Either way, fans have been deprived of ten years’ worth of Shania Twain music and performances.

Of course, I think a more interesting question to ask is what has Twain missed?  Namely, how much money would Twain have earned if she had not said adieu to the business?

Accolades
Amazingly, Twain became the “Queen of Pop Country” on the strength of just four studio albums and two major concert tours!

Twain has sold 75 million albums and her tours grossed more than $180 million.   She’s the only female artist, regardless of genre, to have three straight LPs sell more than ten million copies.

Album Sales
Twain released albums in 1993, 1995, 1997, and 2002.  That’s an average of one album every three years.  Let’s keep that timetable and assume Twain would have released new studio works in 2005, 2008, and 2011.

Now, record sales have steadily declined since Twain retired so I’m going to assume that none of the three proposed imaginary albums reached ten million in sales.  I’m also going to assume that Twain failed to put up Taylor Swift-like sales figures. 

I think on her laurels alone each of three studio albums would have sold at least two million units.  Her 2005 release, riding on the sales figures of Up! would have probably eclipsed the five million plateau.

To make our accounting simple, I’m going to say Twain’s three imaginary albums combined to sell ten million units.

Figuring that the average price of an album (physical or digital) is about $10, and artists gets about 13 percent of album sales... Twain lost out on more than $13 million.

Let’s add another $2 million from internet sources like Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora.

In total, Twain would have made $15 million on recorded music during the decade she was musically indisposed.

Tour Grosses
Twain’s two tours were five years apart.  I think she would have toured more frequently than that as the stage is far more lucrative than the studio.

I’m therefore going to say Twain would have toured three times during the ten years she was sidelined. 

Both of her actual tours contained more than a hundred Shania Twain concerts.  Again for the sake of simplicity, we’ll pretend that her three tours each contained one hundred shows.  In other words, Twain could have performed a total of 300 gigs during her excommunication. 

In 2006, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill launched the “Soul2Soul II Tour” and grossed $141 million or $1.1 million a concert.

From 2002 to 2005, Cher’s “Living Proof” trek made $260 million from 325 shows.  For those keeping score at home, that’s $800,000 a night.

The “Taking Chances World Tour” raked in $280.2 million.  That 2008-2009 odyssey saw Celine Dion perform 132 shows on five continents.  Her nightly gate receipts topped $2 million.

Lastly, Taylor Swift’s “The Red Tour” raked in $150 million over 86 shows.  That was good enough to make Swift about $1.7 million an evening.

I think those four tours are good analogs to any tour Twain would have undergone during the 2000s and the early part of the 2010s.  The average nightly take for the aforementioned concerts is $1.1 million.  Since math is hard, let’s make it an even million.

Therefore, Twain whiffed on grossing $300 million from touring.  While it all depends on the artist, most keep about forty percent of the cash they make from concerts.  Therefore, Twain lost the opportunity to pocket $120 million.

>>One could argue a $1 million a show is too much since that’s about twice as much per show as she made during her Las Vegas residency.   I don’t think a Las Vegas residency is ever an analog for a tour.  Seeing a show in Las Vegas, and seeing an artist on tour, are two completely different beasts.  They are not comparable.

Miscellaneous Income
Twain is drop dead gorgeous but very relatable.   Meaning, men think she’s hot and women don’t hate her because she’s beautiful.  So she probably would have endorsed a couple of big name products (she still endorsed a few while she was away) and probably would have had at least one lucrative television gig. 

Also, who knows how much merchandize she would have sold during the ten years her head was in the proverbial sand?

So let’s add another $10 million.  If that sounds like a lot from miscellaneous sources just break it down.  It’s only $1 million a year for the “Queen of Pop Country.”

The Bottom Line
That means the decade Shania Twain was away from the music industry she lost $145 million dollars.

It’s just a number, and you may accuse me of pulling it out of thin air, but any way you look at it Twain’s decade long absence was costly.

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Madonna, Madonna Tours Still Relevant

by Noiz 9. March 2015 07:58

Madonna, Madonna Tours Still Relevant

Journalist Emily Jupp, writing for The Independent Web site, recently asked is Madonna still relevant?

The full title of her tome was “Is Madonna still relevant? Making an ass of herself at the Grammys may have signalled the end of the queen of pop.”

In her article, Jupp documents several superficial reasons why Her Madgesty is no longer relevant.

Of course, just asking if someone is relevant makes them relevant.  No one is asking if Grahame Skinner* is still relevant.

One of Jupp’s premises for Madonna’s irrelevancy is her recent Grammy Awards performance. 

According to Jupp, 2014 was the “year of the rear.”  Personally, I missed that memo.  While on the Grammy stage, Madonna bared most of her behind.  Yet, according to Jupp the “ass” is passé in 2015 because Rihanna and Sia (whoever she is) covered themselves up at another high profiled event.

To sum it all up, Jupp believes Madonna is irrelevant because she showed her ass to the world two months too late.

Jupp has buried the lead.  Who cares about the “year of the rump?”  The headline is a 56-year-old Madonna showed off her tuchus and it was glorious.  It shined like that briefcase in Pulp Fiction.  If I was 56, and had a backside like Madonna I would never wear pants—at least I’d wear nothing but tight pants as that would go over better in public.

Jupp does bring Madonna’s music into her argument by mentioning the fact that Madge’s latest single, “Living for Love,” was pulled from Radio 1’s playlist.  Her opinion is that the British station pulled the song from their rotation because it doesn’t resonate with those between the ages of 15 and 29.

Even if Jupp’s assumption is correct, and Madonna’s latest single doesn’t resonate with teens and 20-somethings, that doesn’t mean she’s irrelevant.   It just means music fans with the mean age of 21 don’t want to hear her latest single.

No offense to the aforementioned age group but they’re not the measuring stick of quality—if for no other reason than they lack experience.   Young people are nothing more than a demographic. 

In effect, Jupp is discrediting Madonna because the music industry no longer markets her music to young people.  That’s not surprising.  The music industry has seldom marketed music made by 50-somethings to young people and that statement has never been truer than it is today.

The question Jupp should be asking is not “is Madonna relevant,” but “which of the current batch of relevant artists will be around in thirty years?”

So Madonna’s music isn’t being purchased or listened to by young people.  Again, that doesn’t mean she’s irrelevant. 

At 56, Madonna has recently performed at the Grammy Awards and the Brit Awards—neither are as hip as the MTV Video Music Awards but the events are nowhere near an episode of the Laurence Welk Show.

MDNA released her 13 studio album, Rebel Heart, on March 6.  The opus has Madonna working with such “relevant” artists as Kanye West, Ryan Tedder, Avicii, Diplo, and Toby Gad.

On August 29, the North American leg of Madonna’s “Rebel Heart Tour” kicks off in Miami, Florida.  It ends Oct. 27 in Los Angeles. 

In between those two dates, Madonna will visit nearly 20 cities including New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, and Las Vegas.  After touring America and Canada, Madonna heads to Europe.

“Rebel Heart” is likely to be one of the highest grossing tours of the year.  If that doesn’t mean she’s relevant I don’t know what does.

Madonna’s last trek, “The MDNA Tour” was not only the highest grossing tour of 2012 but the 12th highest-grossing tour of all-time and the second highest-grossing tour ever by a female artist (Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour is number one).

Madonna is the bestselling female artists of all-time and the top touring female artists of all-time.  She’s also the template for just about every female singer that’s currently “relevant.” 

From Britney Spears to Beyoncé to Katy Perry to Ariana Grande, they’re all doing their own version Madonna. 

In many ways, asking if Madonna is relevant is insulting.  Madonna is a trailblazer, pioneer, and legend.  She has earned the right to do whatever she wants.  She also doesn’t need the validation of any age group especially one that wasn’t even born when she was doing her best work.

One more thing, Jupp had the audacity to write: “[Madonna] has just cottoned on to electronic dance music.”

Excuse me?

Madonna was into EDM while guys like Shrillex and Excision still thought “Molly” was only a girl’s name. 

Madonna may not resonate with kids whose biggest problem is what to wear to the prom but she’s still relevant.  The bulk of that relevancy comes through her legacy but it’s still very clear that Madonna has a lot to say.

*Grahame Skinner was the lead singer of the Scottish band Hipsway.  Their single “Honeytheif” (a fairly decent song) peaked at number 19 on the Hot 100 in 1986.

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Daniel Tosh Is Really Offensive And Really Funny

by Noiz 26. February 2015 13:23

Daniel Tosh Is Really Offensive And Really Funny

Daniel Tosh launches “The Great Nor’Easter Tour Of 2015” on June 9 at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono, Maine.  The tour culminates June 27 at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York.  In total, the funny man will visit 16 cities in the northeast corner of the country.

Fans should also look for Daniel Tosh concerts in Albany, Providence, and Buffalo.

Tosh’s stand-up act is so popular that I found three articles about the comic adding shows to his itinerary:

>>Daniel Tosh Adds Second Rochester Show
>>Comedian Daniel Tosh adds third Halifax show
>>Daniel Tosh Adds Second Show at Hershey Theatre, 6/26

The host of Comedy Central’s popular “Tosh.0” considers himself a stand-up comedian first and then a television host.  Tosh is very protective of his comedy routine—"I never want to cannibalize my act.”  He loves trying out new material and doesn’t like to repeat jokes.

Fans of Tosh, which mostly consist of college-age comedy aficionados, know how funny he can be.   Each week, Tosh.0 is seen by millions of people (a lot for a cable program). 

For those unfamiliar with both his stand-up and his television program, Tosh is likely the poster boy for offensive jokes.  In 2012, at one of his comedy shows, Tosh joked about rape.  A woman in the audience yelled at the comic that that the topic isn’t funny.  Tosh reportedly replied to her: “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now?” 

The heckler, who was also a blogger, posted the above account on her site.  The owner of the comedy club contradicted the blogger’s story.  Apparently, Tosh didn’t joke that she should be raped but that she had been raped—a distinction without a difference to some critics.

If you’re familiar with comedians like Jim Norton, Patton Oswalt, and Doug Stanhope the above incident barely induces a shrug.  For those ignorant on the current clime of comedy, the episode, especially the inaccurate version, left an indelible impression and permanently tarnished Tosh’s reputation.

Detractors immediately charged Tosh with being a talentless hack that has to resort to shock tactics in order to be funny.  That assessment of Tosh couldn’t be further from the truth.

Nothing seems to be taboo for Tosh but that’s not a judgment of his competency but an observation of what it means to be a comedian.  Comics are supposed to tackle taboos.  They’re supposed to push limits and stretch boundaries. 

As for “crossing a line” or “there are some subjects you shouldn’t joke about” if those cute little axioms are carried out to their logical conclusions no one could make a joke about anything. 

After all, the chicken crossing the road may be insensitive to those who’ve experienced auto accidents—not to mention that it’s downright insulting to poultry.

Opponents should realize that the 39-year-old comic, who’s been in the business for nearly 20 years, and whose television show will run for at least eight seasons, would have been out of the industry long ago if his entire act consisted of nothing more than making crass and insensitive jokes.

To highlight the comic’s substance, let’s look at a tirade from the current season of Tosh. 0.   This rant is about the New England Patriots, more precisely how much he hates the team. 

I selected this bit to analyze because sports are somewhat of a specialty and therefore easy to discern if someone is speaking intelligently or out of their you-know-what.

Tosh is a Miami Dolphins fan and therefore legally bound to hate the Patriots.  Ranting against a sports team is easy to do if you stick with words like “suck” and stoop to tactics like questioning a player’s sexuality or accusing their mothers of infidelities. 

Tosh did not do that—well, he did make an Aaron Hernandez sodomy joke and a Robert Kraft cradle-robbing quip.  Instead, he made several poignant and witty observations…

>>“Here’s how Belichick Patriots’ will be remembered: the tuck rule, Spy Gate and Deflate Gate.”

Well, that and four Super Bowl titles, but yes, those events will stick with Belichick for a long time.

>>“Brady had one good year lobbing it up to Randy Moss and every other season he’s been a game manager.  He’s Trent Dilfer with hair plugs.”

I think Brady is a little bit better than that but he is slightly overrated.  He’s extremely accurate, and knows his offense, but you pressure him and he’s average at best.  Where I think Brady is underrated is his toughness and competitive spirit. 

>>“If the Patriots weren’t in such a sh*tty division you wouldn’t have such a cake walk to get into the playoffs.”

That statement is 100 percent accurate.  For the last decade and a half, the other teams in the Patriots division—Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and New York Jets—have, for the most part, rolled over for Brady and his bunch.

>>“If football is a game of inches then anyone in your organization cheating, even a single time, taints everything for that point on.”

This is the most astute and sagacious line of Tosh’s histrionics.  Agree or disagree with the statement, the comment makes you think.

The best part of Tosh’s anti-Patriots bombast is how he finished it.  He wondered, out loud, if Pats fans think he’s too afraid to say what he just said to their “blotchy, alcoholic, racist face(s)?”  He answered his own rhetorical question by announcing “The Great Nor’Easter Tour of 2015.”

By the way, Tosh will perform in Boston on June 19.

Tosh’s act is offensive but it’s also very funny. 

That’s not what detractors need to remember though. 

As Steve Martin said, “comedy isn’t pretty.”   The art of telling jokes is not for the faint of heart.  It’s the comic’s job to say things we wouldn’t normally say and to make us laugh at things we normally wouldn’t laugh it. 

If you can’t take that then don’t go see Tosh or any other comic for that matter.

If you can, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy Tosh’s act.

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ACDC Is A Hot Commodity On Secondary Market And Here’s Why

by Noiz 23. February 2015 14:04

ACDC Is A Hot Commodity On Secondary Market And Here’s Why

The North American leg of AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust World Tour” begins Aug. 22 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  It ends Sept. 28 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.  Australia’s top rock export has 13 concerts scheduled for Canada and the United States. 

Fans should look for AC/DC at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford (Aug. 26), Wrigley Field in Chicago (Sept. 15), and AT&T Park in San Francisco (Sept. 25).

Even though the start of the leg is months away, tickets are already fetching top dollar on the secondary ticket market.

Now, the secondary ticket market fluctuates, and if you’re reading this article in June prices may be significantly different.  Still, the following information illustrates the popularity of AC/DC tickets.

The average price of an AC/DC ticket on the secondary ticket market is more than $255. 

Tickets for the band’s gig in Edmonton are selling for more than $573.  Tickets to AC/DC’s Vancouver, B.C. concert are averaging more than $560.  Those are the leg’s two most expensive shows.

The cheapest AC/DC tickets are to the leg’s opening concert at Gillette Stadium.  Tickets to that show are averaging just under $206.

On eBay, four tickets to the AC/DC tour stop in San Francisco are priced at $41,600 or best offer.  I’d imagine the price tag is purposely high to grab attention and the four ducats will actually sell for “best offer.”

It should be noted that four AC/DC tickets to their performance at Wrigley Field sold for $2,750 on the aforementioned internet auction site.  If you do the math, that’s $687.50 a ticket. 

The two eBay examples confirm what I’m been writing about and that’s tickets to the upcoming AC/DC “Rock or Bust” tour are selling for a hefty price.

There are many reasons why AC/DC’s 2015 trek is heating up the secondary ticket market… 

>>Although the band turned 40 in 2013, they will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year.

>>AC/DC is touring to support their 15th internationally released studio album, Rock or Bust.

>>AC/DC hasn’t toured since 2008 and that tour, the “Black Ice World Tour,” was the fourth highest-grossing concert tour of all-time.  It raked in more than $440 million.

>>AC/DC is planning on visiting fewer cities in North America then it did the last time around thus increasing demand.

Of course, there are several factors working against the band.

>>This is the first tour without Malcolm Young.  The rhythm guitarist is being replaced by nephew Stevie Young.  Malcolm had to retired due to dementia.  AC/DC without Malcolm Young is like the Rolling Stones without Charlie Watts or The Who without Keith Moon and John Entwistle. 

>>Drummer Phil Rudd (1975 to 1983 and 1994 to 2015) is being replaced by former drummer Chris Slade (1989 to 1994).  Rudd is battling legal problems in Australia.  His problems stem from drug possession charges and allegedly trying to have someone murdered.

>>Rock or Bust has been certified gold and it debuted at number three on the Billboard 200.  It sold 172,000 copies during its first week out.  That’s a good showing for a young rock band but not a good showing for Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and a deplorable effort compared to their last release, Black Ice.  Black Ice went straight to number one in 29 countries.  It sold 193,000 on its first day of release in the United States alone!  Black Ice was the world’s second bestselling album of 2008 (number one was Coldplay’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends).

The main reason AC/DC tickets are selling for a small fortune has nothing to do with album sales, the group’s membership, or where the band is scheduled to perform.

The main reason AC/DC tickets are so expensive is something few publications want to admit.  They don’t want to upset current rock and roll acts.

Rock fans are willing to spend more to see AC/DC in concert because there’s no one waiting to take their place.  None of the younger rock bands are even close to taking their place.  Rock bands capable of selling out large arenas are a dying breed.

Of the top 20 grossing concert tours of all-time, only one belongs to an act that wasn’t from the first half of the 1980s or before.  One Direction, who released their first album in 2011, owns the 13th highest grossing concert tour of all-time.

Who knows if 1D, who is anything but a rock band, will be able to do the same thing in a year or two much less four decades.

The top 20 grossing concert tours of all-time are represented by fourteen acts (some acts are on the list multiple times).  Of those fourteen acts, four started in the 1960s, four started in the 1970s, and five trace their origins between 1980 and 1984.

Also, of those 14 acts, nine are considered bona fide rock and rollers.

Here’s even more proof that the current generations of rock artists aren’t even close to launching a tour that rivals AC/DC… 

Of the top 20 grossing concert tours of the 2000s, only four were by acts that started in the 1990s or beyond.  Those acts were Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.  None of them belong to the rock genre and none cracked the top 13.  McGraw and Hill toured together.

Things get a little better for current pop artists when one looks at the top 20 grossing concert tours of the 2010s but not for rockers. 

While no current artist makes it into the top five of the current decade, the list does contain eleven acts from the 1990s and beyond—we’re talking artists like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Pink, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift.

Rock acts comprise six of the first eight spots, but only two of the final twelve—Metallica at #12 and Bon Jovi at #14.

This list will obviously change before the decade is over.  Fleetwood Mac and The Who are both in the middle of huge jaunts.

U2’s upcoming arena tour will more than likely make the top 20 and one has to figure The Rolling Stones have at least one more epic trek in them. 

That will probably push several pop singers off the list but one has to ask where is the next generation of rock stars?

Where are Radiohead, The Black Keys, Jack White, Wilco, and The Kings of Leon?  Heck, why hasn’t Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, and Weezer made the list?  They’re nowhere to be found.

That’s why people are paying an arm and a leg to see a forty-year-old rock band in concert.  It might be the last chance they’ll ever have to see a big-time rock group perform a big-time concert at a big-time venue. 

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