The World's Hardest Working


Every year, musicians jet off all around the world, working hard to bring their shows directly to their fans. However, some artists seem to travel a lot more than others, but how hard do the most popular artists work to take their shows to their fans?

We looked at Billboard’s top 100 artists from 2018 and 2019 and compared the number of shows and countries they have played in from January 2018 through to August 2019 so we could find out who has visited the most countries and played the largest number of shows in this period, giving us the hardest working musicians.

The artist with the Most Shows:

Lewis Capaldi

Lewis Capaldi’s career has well and truly taken off since the beginning of 2019 so it’s no surprise that he’s in high demand, playing 195 shows since the start of 2018.

Most Travelled Musician:

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran is loved all over the world so he has played in plenty of different countries since the start of 2018 - 32 to be exact.

The artist with the Most International Shows:

Elton John

Elton John has played plenty of shows in 2018/19, most of which are outside of his home nation of the UK. In fact, he has played 147 shows abroad in 2018/19 - that’s 98% of his total shows.

The artist with the Most Domestic Shows:

Billie Eilish

Fans of Billie Eilish had the best opportunity to see her on home turf in 2018/19 as she played 92 shows in her home country of the USA - half of her total shows.

Most Travelled Genre:


Pop artists are most likely to go globetrotting with an average of 15.29 countries played.

The World's Hardest Working Musicians - ranked

  • Table Key

  • Rank

  • Artist

  • Nationality

  • Genre

  • Number of Domestic Shows

  • Number of International Shows

  • Total Number of Shows

  • Number of Countries Played

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We used the Billboard’s 2018 Year-End Charts and the Billboard’s Artist 100.

Artist Nationality

This was sourced from Wikipedia, using the place of birth of the listed nationality if different from the birthplace.


We used to find out all the information about the shows including the number of dates and the countries visited.


We used a weighted ranking system to assign a ranking to each artist. This took into account the total number of shows played, the number of countries played and the percentage of international shows. Each of these factors was weighted equally and assigned a numerical value with higher numbers equalling a better ranking.