Box Office Insider: Kendrick Lamar Did The ‘Damn’ Thing

Kendrick Lamar
Amy Harris / Invision / AP
– Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar performs for the 50th Festival D’été De Québec at Plains Of Abraham in Québec City July 7.

Kendrick Lamar has officially wrapped up his run through North America in 2017 and Pollstar has complete data on all the hip-hop superstar’s solo dates.

K. Dot played 35 headline shows on the year, starting July 12 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., and finishing at AmericanAirlines Arena Sept. 2. The routing included a two-night stand at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a three-nighter at Staples Center in Los Angeles. He had D.R.A.M. as support on all dates and featured YG or Travis Scott on select shows.

Kung Fu Kenny [a moniker he adopted for his 2017 Damn album] reported 446,337 total tickets and grossed a whopping $40,562,179. The average ticket price was $91, with an average gross of $1,267,568 per market appearance, though the multiple-night stints are weighted as one appearance.

Those numbers are good enough to have him currently sitting at the number 25 spot on our upcoming year-end chart for North American Top 100 Tours, and number 45 on the Worldwide Top 100 Tours. He is a strong contender for the top North American rap tour, with the only possible challenger being Jay-Z, who has arenas lined up until December with his 4:44 tour, of which two shows have thus far already been canceled. Their contemporary Drake will almost surely take that distinction for the top European rap tour. We’re still waiting on some data from Drake’s European run, so we still can’t say who will be the top MC on the Worldwide chart.

Outside of the headline plays, Kendrick also played festivals like Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans, Rolling Loud Music Festival in Miami, Festival D’été de Québec in Quebec City, Quebec. He also played a gig at Radio City Music Hall during Dave Chappelle’s residency at the venue.

The rapper was on tour promoting his latest album, Damn, the true follow-up to his critically acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly, which won him a slew of Grammys [he did release Untitled Unmastered in 2016, but most wouldn’t consider that a complete release].  Damn contained hits like “HUMBLE” and “LOYALTY” featuring Rihanna.

The North American endeavor was a success by all metrics, with only one show below 90 percent attendance, Aug. 20 in Chicago’s United Center, and that gig still reported a gross of more than $1 million. Outside of Chicago, the only other show reporting less than 95 percent of tickets sold was Montreal’s

Reviews from the tour seemed to largely gush over Lamar’s stage presence and crowd energy. In a previous article, we referenced Ed Masley of The Republic’s review of K. Dot’s tour opener: “The man has always been an album artist. This is where his head is, where his heart is. It’s why he was able to give such a moving performance. … The crowd ate [Travis Scott’s set] up – in part because the man was riding on a giant bird but also because he’s really hot right now and made it feel more like a co-headlining tour.”

Up next for the Top Dawg rapper is a full European trek, which kicks off Feb. 7 in Dublin’s 3Arena and runs just under a month, wrapping March 5 in Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena. That routing also includes two-night stands at The O2 in London and AccorHotels Arena in Paris.