Branson To Buy Back Virgin?

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)