Music mogul Irving Azoff has hit out at a U.S. newspaper article alleging Rihanna is struggling to sell tickets for her upcoming U.S. tour, insisting the figures quoted in the piece are "so wrong".
The report, published in the New York Post on Tuesday (22Mar11), claimed the Umbrella hitmaker had been urged by tour experts to axe a string of dates on her Loud trek, staged by concert promotion firm Live Nation, due to poor sales.
It was alleged just 3,700 tickets had been sold for the singer's gig at T.D. Garden in Boston, Massachusetts in July (11) - adding she will need at least 15,000 to break even.
A source told the New York Post's Page Six column, "It has been a big disappointment. The ticket sales in big U.S. cities like Boston are so bad, they will barely cover basics like the lighting and other arena costs. Tour managers are begging local radio stations to do giveaways."
But Live Nation boss Azoff has blasted the claims and questioned the reliability of the journalist's source, while he also highlighted Rihanna's sold out shows at London's O2 Arena as an indication of her selling power.
In an email to music analyst Bob Lefsetz, Azoff writes, "There are 56 sold out Rihanna dates in Europe including 9 O2's... 64 per cent of tickets for Rihanna's domestic (U.S.) shows have already been sold...
"Rihanna's Boston show is four months out. Projections say that 90 per cent of the seats will be sold by showtime. Yes, those are just projections, take them however you want. But there are other inaccuracies in the Post story. It states that break even is 15,000 when only 13,500 seats are for sale. And it says that 3,700 tickets have been sold when the actual count is 5,800. Begging where the writer got her information, because it's so wrong."