What do David Bowie, Beyonce, and Garth Brooks have in common? They all stepped out of themselves to put on a new face and performance for the stage! While many performers have pulled similar stunts, here are our top five alter egos. Hold on to your butts, it's gonna be a weird ride.
5) Chris Gaines
Photo courtesy of tasteofcountry.com
The late 1990s were an odd time. We were in the throes of a bull market, Britney Spears was a fresh-faced ingénue with all of her hair intact (and in pigtails), and country-pop was all the rage. We weren’t even at war with anyone. It was in this cultural climate of excess and sunny emotions that we were first introduced to the remarkable artiste Chris Gaines.
Although there were some other stories, April belonged to Sir Paul McCartney. The ever popular British rocker released a a stream of North American tour dates throughout the month that helped propel him to the top. Although McCartney was in the Top 10 last September, he also had fewer tour dates scheduled at the time (five versus twenty-one). As has always been the case in this list, volume equals success. More tour dates helped generate more sales this time around.
Despite having plenty of two-night stops — Orlando, FL; Brooklyn, NY; Austin, TX; and Tulsa, OK — the best-performing cities were ones where only one show is scheduled. Indeed, you have to get past Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; and Milwaukee, WI; before you can get to the best-performing two-night city, Brooklyn. The three single-concert cities made up 42% of all McCartney ticket sales on TicketNetwork.com for April.
On Monday it was announced that Madonna will be headlining the halftime show for this year's (well, 2012's) Super Bowl. As reactions and predictions started rolling in, I started thinking about the most memorable halftime shows in Super Bowl history.
Here are my top picks, in chronological order:
Michael Jackson, Super Bowl XXVII
Well, it’s Michael Jackson, so of COURSE it’s going to be a memorable halftime show. I'm sure the anticipation and buzz around this show was incredible, judging by the roar of the crowd. But what makes this performance particularly interesting is how he just kind of stands there for a full minute before turning his head…and then just stands there some more. Once he gets going, though, it’s clear why Jackson is the King of Pop.
As everyone knows (unless you live under a rock), Paul McCartney is coming back to the U.S. this month for a five-city tour! Sir Paul begins his On the Run tour with two days at Yankee Stadium on July 15 and 16. After that, he'll visit Detroit, spend two days in both Chicago and Montreal, and then cap things off in Cincinnati. The tours mark McCartney's first performance at the new Yankee Stadium.
Although he's only playing eight shows, McCartney typically doesn't leave the States without selling out every venue. He's one of the few performers who can completely take over the lead on ticket sales by just announcing a few dates. As an example, see the chart below of the top five artists from last month.
As you can see, the McCartney tour completely dominated ticket sales for several days, though demand tapered off later. Still, the sales on those few days made McCartney the top-selling artist of June. The most recent mid-month takeover of this magnitude that I can think of was the Jay-Z and Eminem dates from last year.
Of course, McCartney does so well because he's a former Beatle, but also because he's led a very successful solo career. His ability to continue leading in ticket sales, even after more than 50 years of playing music, is nothing short of amazing.
Paul McCartney Tour Dates
|July 15||New York, NY||Yankee Stadium|
|July 16||New York, NY||Yankee Stadium|
|July 24||Detroit, MI||Comerica Park|
|July 26||Montreal, CAN||Centre Bell|
|July 26||Montreal, CAN||Centre Bell|
|July 31||Chicago, IL||Wrigley Field|
|August 1||Chicago, IL||Wrigley Field|
|August 4||Cincinnati, OH||Great American Ball Park|