Beyonce and Jay-Z perform during the “On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z” at Minute Maid Park on July 18, 2014 in Houston, Texas.
Larry Busacca/PW/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment
Jay Z and Beyonce‘s On The Run tour wraps in North America with two nights at AT&T Park in San Francisco, both tonight (August 5) and tomorrow night (August 6). The pair’s 19 North American shows will gross over $100 million in ticket sales and has sold at more than 90 percent capacity, according to Omar Al-Joulani, vp of North American touring for Live Nation, the promoter/producer of the tour. Attendance will top out at more than 850,000.
Al-Joulani declined to comment on press reports of rancor between the couple, adding that he hadn’t read it. Regarding such reports, and speculation that Live Nation might be losing money on the tour, Al-Joulani would only say, “everybody’s winning.” And regarding reports that the plug might be pulled on the tour, the promoter adds, “Production is loading-in in San Francisco as we speak.”
Some reports put the couple’s performance guarantee at $4 million per show, which is a reasonable figure, considering the tour’s nightly take is over $5.2 million from an average attendance of nearly 45,000 per show. As predicted by Billboardback in June – when inaccurate reports that the tour was struggling began to surface — sales for the tour finished strong, following a general market trend of tickets selling closer to show date. “These shows sold tremendously well at the end, so we were able to sell-up limited-view and clean up production holds or other holds,” says Al-Joulani. “It was a very successful tour, and we’re pleased to have that big gross number at the end.”
The Jay/Bey tour was conceived and launched fast compared to most stadium tours, which are often planned more than a year in advance. “It came together quite quickly, around mid-March,” says Al-Joulani. “By April, we had everything together, and once the routing was in place we had about three weeks until the tour was announced.”
Considering the quick ramp-up, the fact that both Jay and Beyonce had been on the road much of last year, and the available window was narrow, routing was a bit of a challenge. “We knew we needed a big ‘statement play’ in L.A., and we needed big statement in New York, so we started by figuring out the avails at the Rose Bowl [in Pasadena] and MetLife Stadium [in New York],” Al-Joulani explains, “and then from there it was just a matter of sorting it out.”
Given the “event” status of music’s reigning power couple and the fact that producers were on a tight schedule, “We threw all the usual rules out the window,” Al-Joulani says. “We didn’t worry about days of the week, as long as we were headed in the right direction. There is one beautiful thing about routing late: There’s no messing around, the building is either available or it’s not. You’re not holding for anybody, you’re not waiting for a football or baseball schedules, there was no room for ‘maybes.’ It was all, ‘is this building available?’ which makes your life a lot easier, because there are no variables. And [stadiums] wanted it, so we were able to pick and choose our way through it.”
Along with the “must-play” major markets, the tour routed into some secondary markets like Cincinnati, New Orleans and Seattle “that turned out to be wildly successful,” Al-Joulani says. Cincinatti sold out on the pre-sale, New Orleans was “massive,” and Seattle went completely clean. “We had the greatest time in those markets.”
Production was “epic,” as described by Al-Joulani, with three staging systems hop-scotching across the route. Elements included a moving high-def screen, pyro, hyrdraulic lifts, and a B stage extended well into the audience. “Knock on wood — we started production load-in in San Francisco at noon today — every show has gone up on time, with no production issues,” he says, adding that there were no weather issues or delays, either. The total production moved on 42 trucks, with about 150 crew.
Given the unique nature of these two artists, their fans, and the fact that they’ve both toured in the last 18 months, ticket scaling was tricky, but Al-Joulani says the goal was to be inclusive. The low end was $40, then prices went up the chain to P1s topping out at $275, and a wide array of premium packages. “Our strategy was to sell as best as we could on the primary system and to price tickets for what people were willing to pay for them, with a very dynamically priced model, so that wherever you were on that ticket chain, you… had an opportunity to attend the show,” the promoter explains. “We made sure we had affordable tickets as well as the higher-priced tickets that we know the market can bear. Pricing went right across the spectrum.”
Momentum was solid, from the couple’s sizzling Grammy performance in January, Beyonce’s new record carrying through until Q1, a hit in “Drunk In Love,” and the single “On The Run” from Jay Z’s record, as well as a dramatic tour trailer created by the two artists. “We had a lot of things that went into making this tour an event, and that was part of our success,” Al-Joulani says. “These events are driven by content and demand, and being dramatic and creative and putting out content people want to see. The two of them are as about creative as you can get, and it was pretty brilliant to watch them work. The show itself is spectacular.”
Chase handled the pre-sale as the tour’s credit card sponsor, and the financial services firm, “really embraced it and did a great job,” says Al-Joulani. Adding that deal was put together by the Roc Nation sponsorship team, led by Michael Yormark. “He delivered that and did a great job executing and bringing Chase to the relationship.”
After North America, Jay Z and Beyonce will take On The Run to Paris Sept 12-13, which is being shot for an HBO special. “We’re on track to sell out both shows,” says Al-Joulani.
Far from stressed out, Al-Joulani was upbeat and clearly happy with the tour’s success. “This has been a lot of work, but it has been the smoothest, most fun run that I’ve ever worked on,” he tells Billboard. “We have a great group of people on the road, the artists have been phenomenal, both management teams are engaged and available. It has been a ball, and I’m actually sad it’s ending. I wish we could be out for another two months.”
Veteran WNBA player Becky Hammon is joining the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs’ coaching staff.
The Spurs made the announcement Tuesday. Terms of the contract were not revealed.
Hammon, who is currently in her 16th WNBA season, announced July 23 that she would retire as a player at the end of the 2014 season.
“I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said in a statement Tuesday. “Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”
Hammon is not the first woman hired to be an NBA assistant. Lisa Boyer, now associate head women’s basketball coach at South Carolina, served on John Lucas’ staff in Cleveland in the 2001-02 season.
When Hammon’s 15th WNBA season was derailed because of a knee injury, Popovich invited her to attend his team’s practices.
Popovich was asked in May whether women can coach men’s players, and he replied, “I don’t see why not. There shouldn’t be any limitations. It’s about talent and the ability to do things. It’s not about what your sex is or your race or anything else.”
Named one of the WNBA’s top 15 players of all time in July 2011, Hammon ranks seventh in WNBA history in points (with 5,809), fourth in assists (1,687) and sixth in games (445).
A six-time WNBA All-Star, Hammon has spent the past eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars. She is their all-time leader in assists (1,112) and 3-point field goals made (493) while ranking second in franchise history in points (3,442) and games (218). In 2012, Hammon was the top vote-getter for the Stars’ All-Decade Team.
The Spurs hired European coaching legend Ettore Messina to join Popovich’s staff earlier this summer.
(Reuters) – U.S. pop singer Beyonce, basketball player LeBron James and record producer and rapper Dr. Dre headed Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful celebrities released on Monday.
With estimated earnings of $115 million over the past 12 months and a string of chart hits, Beyonce, 32, nabbed the top spot on the annual list, pushing entertainment mogul Oprah, 60, from first place last year into fourth, while TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, 56, jumped from No. 10 in 2013 to No. 5.
The top 10 spots included five men and five women.
Forbes credited Beyonce’s massive concert tour for pushing her into the top spot ahead of her husband, rapper Jay Z, who ranked sixth, and singers Rihanna at No. 8 and Katy Perry at No. 9.
“The superstar played 95 shows, bringing in an average of $2.4 million,” said Forbes, referring to figures from Pollstar, which covered the concert industry.
Along with her latest hit album “Beyonce,” which was released late last year, she earned millions from endorsement deals and her clothing line, and last week she kicked off her first world tour with Jay Z.
James, 29, who last week opted out of his NBA contract with the Miami Heat team, jumped from 16th place last year to No. 2. He earned an estimated $72 million thanks to his performance on the basketball court, endorsement deals and the sale of headphone maker Beats Electronics to iPhone-maker Apple Inc for $3 billion. James was a small part-owner of the business.
But the most impressive rise on the list was No. 3′s Dr. Dre, born as Andre Romelle Young. He earned $620 million in 2014, and climbed from the 63rd spot in 2013.
Forbes said the 49-year-old co-founder of Beats with music executive Jimmy Iovine, earned more money in the past 12 months than any other person in the history of its list.
Forbes compiled its 15th annual list by estimating pre-tax earnings from June 1, 2013 to 2014 from tours, books, contracts, endorsements, movies and residuals.
Fame and influence is gauged by how often celebrities appeared in the media and the impact they had on the entertainment industry and culture. Forbes also used StarCount, which looks at 11 social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to determine presence in social media.
While Forbes said the list measured global influence, those on it were mostly American.
Music producer and “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams was a newcomer to this year’s list at No. 38, along with Grammy winner Bruno Mars at No. 13, actors Bradley Copper (48) and best actor Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey who was 52.
Singer Madonna, retired soccer star David Beckham, actresses Kristin Stewart and Charlize Theron, property developer Donald Trump and actors Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler were among the celebrities who dropped off the list this year. (Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Cynthia Osterman)
Dr. Dre and Ice Cube have revealed the first photo of the cast of Universal’s upcoming film Straight Outta Compton, based on the story of the West Coast rap group N.W.A.
Dre will be played by classically-trained actor Marcus Callender, Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. will fill in for his famous father, and Jason Mitchell from Broken City, and Contraband will take on the role of the late great Eazy-E directed by F. Gary Gray. Straight Outta Compton hits theaters on August 14, 2015.
Put another way by Dre himself, he could be “The first billionaire in hip-hop, right here from the mother-f$%&*#$ West Coast, believe it!” (see GIF below)
Dre’s words are from the video below posted to Tyrese Gibson’s Facebook and came within hours of the Apple-Beats news. In the video, featuring a group of “homies drunk off of Heineken,” Tyrese calls his crew the “billionaires boys club,” saying “the Forbes list just changed” and needs to be “updated,” before Dre makes his monetary boast.
The Forbes list in question came out last month and saw Sean “Diddy” Combs topping annual survey with $700 million in earnings, due in large part to his deals with Ciroc and his recently-launched Revolt.tv. Second on the list is Dr. Dre at $550 million, thanks to his stake in Beats. The company controls two thirds of the premium headphone market, according to Forbes, and has annual sales in excess of $1 billion.
Beats Electronics is a privately held company and therefore does not have to make detailed financial information public. Companies only have to make that information available when they register for IPOs, according to SEC regulations.
Dre’s stake in Beats is estimated to be in the 20-25% range. If he were to earn that amount directly from the $3.2 billion sale his take would be somewhere between $640 million and $800 million, before taxes. With that amount, combined with his earnings of $550 million last year as well as his other income streams (album sales, publishing royalties, his work with HP laptops) the hip-hop legend would be very close to a net worth of a billion dollars.
So: If the deal doesn’t make Dre the first hip-hop billionaire, it definitely puts him close to it. It ain’t nothing but a many, many Gs thang.