Ed Sheeran earned almost £1m a day in 2018, smashing the all-time record for the for most cash made from a tour in a single year.
The singer, 27, raked in a staggering £342m in the last 12 months (937k per day) beating out pal Taylor Swift who took home a colossal £244m from her Reputation tour.
His success comes from selling 4.9million tickets as part of his global tour Divide, meaning the numbers don’t include any money the Ipswich-born guitarist has earned from selling his music or any other work. Also in the top 10 were Beyonce and Jay Z, who did their first joint tour this year and earned £201m, analysis from industry insiders Pollstar shows.
Pink and Bruno Mars also came in the top 10, and were joined by veteran rockers the Rolling Stones and U2 as the biggest earners of 2018.
But none of them quite rival the Shape of You hitmaker, who has smashed the earnings from all his previous tours with his latest set to be the most lucrative tour in history.
Sheeran’s last tour in 2014, Multiply, grossed £119million – and with 50 dates left he has already doubled that amount.
The previous highest grossing tour for a calendar year was set by U2 for their Joshua Tree tour in 2017, earning Bono and his band £250m. They hold the record for the highest-grossing ever tour at a huge £581m – for their 360 tour which took place from 2009 to 2011.
Top ten most lucrative tours of 2018
1. Ed Sheeran £342m – 4.9m tickets sold
2. Taylor Swift £244m – 2.9m tickets sold
3. Jay-Z and Beyonce £201m – 2.2m tickets sold
4. P!nk £134m – 1.29m tickets sold
5. Bruno Mars £132m – 1.29m tickets sold
6. The Eagles £131m – 964k tickets sold
7 Justin Timberlake £119m – 1.19m tickets sold
8 Roger Waters £104m – 1.5m tickets sold
9 U2 £100m – 927,034 tickets sold
10 The Rolling Stones £92m – 751k tickets sold
It was revealed earlier in the year that Sheeran had overtaken Adele as the highest-earning musician on the planet, becoming one of the top 10 celebrity earners in the world.
According to financial records released by his company in October, Ed earns around £75,000 a day from Ed Sheeran Ltd.
His business boasted an annual turnover of £36,293,611 with a gross profit of £27,376,900. Cut down, this means the Galway Girl singer makes £75,005 per day and £3,125 per hour.
But the revenue from his tour blows that figure out the water, with the crooner taking home £39,000 an hour.
Ed – who also proposed to long-term partner Cherry Seaborn this year – is known for once sleeping rough outside Buckingham Palace and being homeless for two years.
The singer broke records in 2017 with his freshest bought of success being largely down to the his popular third studio album ÷ (Divide) in addition to his singles Perfect, Shape Of You and Galway Girl, to name a few.
His Divide tour also smashed records in Australasia for the largest number of stadium shows in one single tour with ticket sales exceeding 950,000. ÷ (Divide) was the global best-selling album in 2017 and has been certified as multi-Platinum in 36 markets with Shape Of You also receiving the best-selling single accolade and becoming multi-Platinum in 32 markets.
Pollstar executive editor Andy Gensler said Sheeran’s success is due to ‘medium-priced tickets, future-classic singles that exploded globally and a compelling solo performance’.
Sheeran’s tickets were priced at £70, whereas second-place Swift struggled to sell out her UK stadium tour, with fees ranging from £62 to £585 for the VIP package.