Branson To Buy Back Virgin?
Following yesterday's news that Universal Music Group could divest itself of Virgin Records America in hopes of gaining the European Commission's approval of its $1.9 billion purchase of EMI Music's recorded music division, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has expressed interest in reacquiring the label, according to Billboard.biz. A Financial Times report states that discussions are in the preliminary stage, and if Branson chooses to make a bid for Virgin he will do so with French music executive Patrick Zelnik. (7/17)
Cirque Du Soleil Tops Pollstar's Mid-Year Rankings
Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal production ranked No. 1 on Pollstar's mid-year chart of the top 100 North American tours, bringing in $78.5 million. Placing second was Roger Waters at $61.9 million. Van Halen ranked third ($44.9 million), Kenny Chesney fourth ($33.9 million), and Lady Antebellum fifth ($30.9 million). Rounding out the top 10 were Drake, Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band, Elton John, Dave Matthews Band, and Radiohead. Overall, the gross revenue from the top 100 tours was up 1.2 percent compared to last year. (7/17)