by Chi Ibe
When he’s not breaking the hearts of teen girls across the world, Justin Bieber takes out time to break records. Tickets to the North American leg of Bieber’s upcoming ‘Believe’ tour sold out within an hour of going on sale Saturday.
Both of Bieber’s Madison Square Garden concerts sold out in 30 seconds. The 18-year-old singer’s AEG-backed trek will include 45 shows in the U.S. and Canada, starting in Arizona on September 29th and finishing up in Miami on January 26th.
According to Forbes, this slate of shows is just the beginning of the work Bieber will be doing after the June 19 release of his album, ‘Believe’. AEG chief Randy Phillips said the tour will stretch through 2013, hitting every continent besides Antarctica. Bieber is guaranteed at least $80 million for 125 shows, with additional cash on the way from lucrative merchandising deals and the possibility of even more sellouts internationally.
“Justin Bieber is big business. He’s not just an American domestic phenomenon, he’s a worldwide phenomenon,” Phillips told FORBES. Phillips believes the $80 million his company committed to Bieber is less of a risk than the guarantee given to the youngster for his first tour, an amount Phillips describes as “north of” $25 million. When Phillips first broached the topic of that deal at AEG three years ago, one his colleagues asked, “What’s a Justin Bieber?”
Bieber has grossed $150 million on 157 tour dates since 2009, earning additional tens of millions from biopic Never Say Never, fragrance Someday and, of course, recorded music. He took home $55 million over the past 12 months, enough to earn the No. 3 spot on FORBES’ Celeb 100 list for the second consecutive year.