NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) The reunion of rock trio The Police for their first concerts in more than 20 years was named the top grossing and top ticket selling tour of 2007 at the 4th annual Billboard Touring Awards.
Singer/bass player Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers began the tour in May and it is due to end early next year, after traveling through North America, Europe, Latin America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
According to Billboard data up to September. 30, The Police have so far grossed more than 171 million dollars from 53 shows seen by more than 1.5 million dollars people.
Arthur Fogel, chairman of music for concert touring company Live Nation Inc who produced The Police tour, told the Billboard Touring Conference that the potential success of the tour was not taken for granted.
''Clearly there was pent-up demand from 20 plus years of them not touring and the fact that they were, when they split up in the mid-80s, ... at their peak and they were very prolific and very successful,'' he said.
But none of those factors could be taken for granted and that ''from day one'' it was determined that a high-profile launch was needed to ensure the tour was successful, said Fogel, who has produced 10 of the top 15 money-making tours of all time, according to Billboard.
The Police launched their tour in February at the famed Whisky A Go Go nightclub in West Hollywood with a news conference and mini-concert.
The top package award went to the country tour of Kenny Chesney with Sugarland, Pat Green, Brooks&Dunn, Sara Evans, which grossed more than 71.2 million dollars from 55 shows seen by more than 1.1 million dollars people.
Chesney was also awarded the top Country Music Association award for ''Entertainer of the Year'' last week.
Former Mouseketeer-turned-pop star Justin Timberlake took out the breakthrough award with his ''Futuresex/Loveshow'' tour, which grossed more than 115.8 million dollars from 100 shows seen by more than 1.5 million dollars people.
The Download Festival at Donington Castle in Britain was named top festival, and Madison Square Garden in New York City was named the top arena.
REUTERS SG RK0920