Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am is amazed about his group's tour. He remembers when he and his members made $150 per show and were excited about it.
He said: "We would jump up and down because we got paid, even though it meant we had to split it with each other and the band, meaning about $20 a piece. Then we got paid $2,000 for a show. And then I remember the first time we got paid a million bucks for an hour. I was like, 'Wow!' That was only four years ago."
Today, Will.i.am, Fergie, Apl.de.ap and Taboo are selling out arenas. And while other artists are canceling shows because of poor ticket sales, the Peas are having a great year.
Through the end of June, the E.N.D. tour has made $47.7 million in 54 shows, including 53 sellouts.
Will.i.am said: "We wanted to tour bigger than we've ever toured before. We started off doing California campuses in 1996, and then after our record deal, our first tour was the Smokin' Grooves tour, our second tour was the Vans Warped tour. We were the first hip-hop group on a punk tour. Then we did the Honda Civic tour. In '99 we went to Europe and toured in small clubs, maybe 200-seaters, followed by a House of Blues tour in America. We toured on this smaller scale for a long time, so it was important to learn how to do a big production for our fans."