Notably, hitting the road. According to a report by Ibisworld, live entertainment has been growing at an annualized rate of 4.7% over the past five years and is now a $25 billion business in the U.S. alone. International statistics are harder to come by, but 10 of the 38 musicians on the Celebrity 100 played shows in at least a dozen countries over the past 12 months.
The water is far safer now. Publicly traded Live Nation and billionaire-backed AEG have professionalized markets once dominated by local operators so sketchy that American acts often had to get their cash up front or risk not getting paid. There are more territories than ever in play: After the fall of the Berlin Wall opened up pop-loving eastern Europe in the early 1990s, modern NBA-style arenas rose across the Continent. More recently, fans in Asia and South America have grown prosperous enough to pay the Western-style ticket prices necessary to support big-budget arena shows. “Acts like Aerosmith are playing Paraguay,” says Gary Bongiovanni, chief of touring-data outfit Pollstar. “Those were things that were unheard of years ago.”