Live & Touring

Rihanna + 20 Radio Singles = Weak Concert Sales

Rihanna short hairstyles To date, Rihanna has 20 singles; 1,056,094,048 views on YouTube; and 10 million album sales. But, at the moment, she can't sell concert tickets to save her life. Last year, her "Last Girl On Earth" tour hit problems with cancellations in Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Denver and Indianapolis because of low ticket sales, according to the New York Post. This year, the situation doesn't seem to have gotten any better.

Rihanna's current day-to-day manager has reportedly advised her to cancel the domestic dates on her "Loud" tour. In the opinion of one insider, despite the numbers listed above, Rihanna should've been "doing theaters and smaller venues."

"She's not ready to headline an arena tour," they told the New York Post.

At a July show in Boston with Cee Lo Green, promoters are already expecting half-million dollar loses. Yet, in spite of sluggish ticket sales, Rihanna is still demanding all the bells and whistles required to make it a blow-out performance.

Since her record label, Def Jam, has already taken a hit due to the decline in sales of recorded music, and is thus, hoping to bring in tour and merch revenue to make up the difference, the weak ticket sales aren't a good sign. In the past, artists like the Grateful Dead have had merger album sales and still managed to pull in a crowd. Rihanna is a global pop star who can't even sell out an arena.

Being in the major label system doesn't appear to guarantee anything anymore.

Even Rihanna is being told that she should be realistically playing in theaters and smaller venues, but the diva isn't having it. She wants to make the show bigger and better, in hopes of gaining a Lady Gaga like affluence, but it's not happening.

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  1. Rihanna makes great songs with the aid of studio magic but she sounds terrible live… that is why I’d be willing to purchase a Rihanna track but never a ticket to a Rihanna show. I can’t be alone in this.

  2. I think, no I know you’re exactly right…Live shows are for people that sound as good or better than their CD!!! One day, her team will get the memo!!!

  3. how can you be labeled Global Pop Star, but unable to fill areas? but you guys hit it right on the nose. she is a Radio/Video Pop Star with very limited stage and singing skills.

  4. Is her voice the only reason? I ask because those 16 year old who buy her music but have obviously not attended her show, could not have figured that out yet. Why is Ceelo her opening act. May be wrong here, but very different demo. How about the economy?

  5. First, I enjoy and appreciate Hypebot GREATLY. I spent years scouring the Internet for music industry news that I get here on a daily basis. That’s why it pains me to point out that it’s editing SUCKS! PLEASE take the time to re-read your columns before posting them here. Not only were words misspelled, but a word or two were even missing! ๐Ÿ™
    Now on to the subject…
    This article doesn’t surprise me. I never understood why Rihanna is as famous as she is. Her music isn’t very catchy or particularly good even for a pop/dance sense. Her vocals are overly processed like all pop stars nowadays, but her voice still seems poor. When I saw her in a music skit on Saturday Night Live 2 or 3 years ago, it was apparent she had very little charisma and her vocals were processed to the point of none human lengths. This news is making it apparent that she really is just an artificial artist created by a label that throws money towards marketing their product. When this happens all a label is left with is a mirage of world famous artist rather than an accomplished, talented musician.
    Free album download at

  6. The folks that come here to just point out mistakes kills me. If you can’t stand it plz go to another site. Folks always want to tell somebody how to run their site. Start your own site and God forbide you have a mistake…Damn! This is not the first time I seen someone in the comments talking editing…Want to attack hypebot but you check the site every single day.

  7. This is a classic case of EGO and GREED. Her ego tells her she’s better and bigger than what she is. Therefore she wants to play arenas and have expensive stage production.
    She can easily sell out a theatre/club tour at $20-$30 max. But she wants to maintain her lifestyle so she demands a high guarantee which inevitably leads to her concert tickets costing $40 minimum (and those are the crappiest seats!).
    The biggest problem here is that artists are GREEDY…and most are completely overpaid by these absurd guarantees.

  8. What’s more of a perception problem, Rihanna playing small rooms or canceling arena dates? The lower capacity venues will probably be packed. And you could probably charge more per ticket and make up some of the gap.
    I can’t get my head around why handlers do this to their artists. Why put them in a position like this? Perhaps the best way to go is to postpone touring until the demand is in line with the superstar image that you wish to project.
    But I’d rather see the artist playing a smaller but vibe-y theatre or venue, with people spilling out the doors and tickets selling out in minutes or hours, belting out a great performance that people will pay a premium for (and tell their friends about) instead of gambling on filling up some sterile, corporate arena with 34 backup singers and dancers in tow.

  9. Rihanna makes cute songs & Id go to a club to see her because she’s Hot ….but she’s not a Phenomenon like say BEYONCE .. who can do it All
    She’s kind of like Fantasia, Keyshia Cole, Monica

  10. The funny thing is that a band with less singles and less of a mainstream audience, e.g. Arcade Fire or Mumford & Sons could book and sell out arena style shows easily.
    I feel for Rihanna, because someone in her management team is convincing her that she is bigger and more of a talented artist than she really is, and therefore she MUST have a massive, arena-filling, global tour.

  11. Did you read the article? Do the numbers not speak for themselves? You are all a bunch of whiny twits with no real world experience. Keep dreaming.

  12. Maybe people are realizing that she is a manufactured gimmick and should be avoided unless you want to go insane or deaf. She can’t sing or dance. How can you not do anything? Whitney Houston couldn’t dance but she could blow, but according to Rihanna she’s better than Whitney…Wearing a body suit, humping a pink tank, bending over, and squatting like you are about to take a dump is “dancing”. Her lyrics are moronic, meaningless and sex, sex, sex. Yet she plays martyr when sales dip or topless photos “leak” to boost her “swagger”, because she’s edgy. More like boring, untalented and stupid.

  13. Dude, they’re a company that openly shares thoughts, ideas, and news with others. They have ad space to help make money. To make more money they need more readers. To make more readers they need to be as professional as possible. They will lose and turn off potential readers if they don’t shape up. Sorry, but this is the truth. This isn’t someone’s personal blog, Facebook, or Twitter account. The less quality a site or product has, the less likely people will invest time and money into it. I stated that I love this site and I’m just trying to help it grow! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Free album download at

  14. Yeah, she can’t sell tickets! I always knew that her sales meant nothing, the only ones who can sell out an arena that are still around are Shakira, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Lady Gaga,and bands like Greenday and Paramore or country stars such as Tobey keith, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. Thats because they have charisma and a strong fanbase. They have all surpassed 20 million albums with just putting out 3 albums. Thats how you tell a superstar, and clearly its not Rihanna.

  15. hey dont even compare rihanna to keisha cole or monica or even fantasia!! i mean u are in lala land if you think she can pull of the type of ballads that these ladies can pull vocally. And if she was so damn sexy she could still pull crowds despite her horrible voice. this chic sounds like a robotic transvesite who took too many drugs and her ass ugly as hell she got a decent toned body but wtf theres way better lookin singing chics with actual range especially from barbados.. all the gorgeous NATURAL ISLAND BEAUTIES AND they gonna invest in this hood rat island reject OMG and she isnt the onli girl in the world!

  16. I don’t think it’s because she can’t sing live. I mean, Taylor Swift, is often off-key in her live performances (even televised ones).
    Her team hasn’t established her as a live act to the public, from a marketing standpoint. If they want her concert ticket sales up next year, I suggest them doing some kind of televised concert special with Rihanna and make sure it’s super great. May be partner with Fuse to do it or something. Also, she needs to be less stiff in her television appearances. That might help.

  17. Pardon me, but I dont do the Internet Gangsta thing & I Dont hide my name & Face in anonimity just to get away with comments I would never repeat in public.
    I also dont have to quantify my personal views to anyone or tell them to stfu. Its pedestrian and not welcome in a forum that fosters intelligent free expression.
    I also question your motives as I see other comments up here that really say horrible things about Rihanna and her artistry whereas I dont disparage her at all and compare her to other great singers that I enjoy.

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