The Sticky & Sweet Tour was the eighth worldwide concert tour by American singer Madonna to promote her eleventh studio album, Hard Candy. It began in August 2008 and was Madonna's first tour from her new recording and business deal with Live Nation. The tour was announced in February 2008, with dates for American and British venues revealed. Though initially planned, the tour did not visit Australia due to financial problems and the financial recession. Costume designer Arianne Phillips designed the costumes, supported by a number of famous designers and brands. The stage for the main show was planned similarly to that of her previous 2006 Confessions Tour. After the tour concluded in 2008, Madonna announced plans of playing a second European leg in 2009 to play in territories she either had never been to or had not played for a long time.
The Sticky & Sweet Tour broke many records in terms of its ticket sales, commercial gross and audience attendance. After the first leg, it became the highest grossing tour by a solo artist, earning $282 million, breaking the previous record Madonna herself held with her Confessions Tour. Overall, Madonna performed to over 3.5 million fans in 32 countries, grossing a total of US$408 million, making it also the fourth highest grossing tour of all time, only behind U2's U2 360° Tour, AC/DC's Black Ice World Tour and The Rolling Stones's A Bigger Bang Tour. It still remains the highest grossing tour by a solo artist. At the 2009 Billboard Touring Awards, the Sticky & Sweet Tour won the Top Tour and Top Draw prizes, which acknowledge the highest-grossing and highest-attended tours of the year, respectively. Madonna's manager Guy Oseary won the Top Manager award.
While on tour, a number of statements by Madonna against 2008 Republican Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates John McCain and Sarah Palin, respectively, faced strong opposition from the Republican Party. While performing in Romania in 2009, Madonna's statement about gypsy discrimination in eastern European countries was received negatively. During the second leg, two workers constructing her stage at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille were killed when the roof of the stage collapsed. The Sticky & Sweet Tour has been broadcast on a number of private channels and a CD/DVD and Blu-ray version of the performances, was released in March 2010.
Having missed her e“Sticky & Sweetd” show when it was in Los Angeles, (I have since called it o“one of the biggest regrets of my lifen”) I was thrilled to catch the visual masterpiece that is a Madonna concert on the small screen. The show is comprised of a perfectly crafted playlist, including several impressive updates on her classics. For instance, on k“Borderline.” and i“Ray of Light,f” Madge becomes a guitar hero and channels her inner rock goddess.