Every Madonna Tour, Ranked

Looking back on the Queen of Pop’s groundbreaking concerts over the years.

In 1974, at the age of 15, Madonna snuck out of her father’s house in suburban Detroit to attend David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs Tour. She was summarily grounded for the summer, but the punishment was worth it. “I don’t think that I breathed for two hours. It was the most amazing show that I’d ever seen,” Madonna said during a speech inducting the Thin White Duke into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Madonna’s first two tours, 1985’s Virgin Tour and 1987’s Who’s That Girl World Tour, served as experiment labs for the burgeoning superstar. In 1990, her Blond Ambition World Tour revolutionized the pop concert. Drawing inspiration from Bowie’s theatricality, Prince’s cheeky flamboyance and Michael Jackson’s stage command, she offered audiences an immersive experience that went beyond conventional live performance.

Each of Madonna’s subsequent tours have pushed the boundaries even further, embracing technology for multimedia (and multi-sensory) presentations of her music. On the heels of her own induction into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2008, the singer’s Sticky & Sweet Tour became the highest grossing tour for a female artist in history – a record she held until 2023, when it was finally eclipsed by Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour, according to Billboard Boxscore.

Madonna could have hung up her corset long ago and she would still be one of the most successful live acts of all time. But she continues to push herself – and us. Her latest trek, the career-spanning Celebration Tour, will wrap up with a historic free show at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on May 4. The concert will be broadcast live on TV Globo and will likely see Madonna performing for her biggest audience to date – more than 40 years into her career.

To get in on the celebration, we’ve ranked all 12 of Madonna’s boundary-busting tours.