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Beyoncé vs. JAY-Z: Who Sold More Tickets?

Adam M. Young | August 10, 2017
Mega-superstar Beyonce.
What happens when two musical superpowers, who also happen to be married, go head-to-head in the world of music? Accusations, confessions, competition and … twins. Let’s look at the past year in the worlds of Beyoncé and JAY-Z, arguably music’s most successful and most-watched power couple.

An Explosive Year

Last year was a big one for Beyoncé. First, Queen Bey rocked a Super Bowl 50 performance before the “surprise” release of her widely hailed record, Lemonade (complemented by a long-form video debut on HBO). On Lemonade, her sixth studio album, the singer insinuates that her husband, superstar musician JAY-Z, had cheated on her. This only proved to give her a boost in adoration among her devoted fans (a.k.a. The Beyhive), who ultimately developed contempt for JAY-Z. Although Beyoncé shows tones of forgiveness in the album, music fans may not be as forgiving.

Indeed, despite his response via his new 4:44 album — in which he confirms and accepts responsibility for his actions — JAY-Z’s on-sale date ticket sales are lax compared to his wife’s Formation Tour last year.

By the Numbers

On Feb. 15, 2016, Beyoncé’s Formation Tour tickets went on sale in Europe, and the next day, tickets went on sale for the North American leg of the tour. The R&B singer’s global ticket sales soared. Kicking off in North America on April 27 in Miami’s Marlins Park, Beyoncé performed around the world in stadiums in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto.

Fast forward to JAY-Z’s much-talked-about 4:44 Tour—a two-month North American tour kicking off on Oct. 27 in Anaheim, CA. The tour wraps up in Los Angeles on Dec. 21, after stopping everywhere from Nashville to Montreal.

While JAY-Z will no doubt fill the venues, his appeal can’t touch Beyoncé’s. Secondary ticket sales have shown that in terms of on-sale date tickets, she is proving to be more popular than her husband: Not only did Beyoncé perform more than a dozen additional shows, she sold more than 10 times the number of tickets vs. JAY-Z, in total, during her two on-sale dates.

By the Accolades

Lemonade was nominated for nine Grammy Awards last year, with the record winning Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Video. As for JAY-Z, 4:44 has hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and has already reached platinum, selling over a million copies so far, a number only expected to grow as the 4:44 Tour gets underway. Fans will have to wait and see if the artist racks up as many accolades as his wife did the year before at this year’s 60th Grammy Awards.

So where does this fierce competition leave music’s golden couple? Given that they just welcomed twins last month, it looks like they’re getting along just fine.
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