Madonna's MDNA Tour has been named the highest grossing of 2012.

The 'Material Girl' singer's 72 shows in the year from November 9, 2011, to November 13 2012 were all sell outs, making $228,406,085 according to Billboard magazine.

The world tour - which started in Israel in May and ends on Saturday (22.12.12) in Argentina - has been seen by over 1.6 million people.

The MDNA tour has proved controversial, with Madonna baring her buttocks to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy at one date and writing a message of support for US President Barack Obama on her back at another.

Her decision to brandish imitation weapons has also been controversial, attracting criticism from anti-weapons campaigners, although she insists they were only used metaphorically.

She said: ''It's true there is a lot of violence in the beginning of the show and sometimes the use of fake guns - but they are used as metaphors.

''I do not condone violence or the use of guns. Rather they are symbols of wanting to appear strong and wanting to find a way to stop feelings that I find hurtful or damaging.''

Behind Madonna on the highest grossing list was Bruce Springsteen, who grossed $199,371,791 from 72 shows, 54 of which were sold out. Third on the list was former Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters, who made $186,466,703 from 72 dates of his The Wall Live tour.

Madonna's arch rival, Lady GaGa, came in sixth with her Born This Way Ball grossing $124,879,545 from 65 sold out shows.

Billboard list of 25 highest grossing tours 2012:

1 Madonna ($228 million)

2 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band ($199 million)

3 Roger Waters ($186 million)

4 Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil ($147 million)

5 Coldplay ($147 million)

6 Lady Gaga ($124 million)

7 Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw ($96 million)

8 Van Halen ($54 million)

9 Jay-Z & Kanye West ($46 million)

10 Andre Rieu ($46 million)

11 Dave Matthews Band ($41 million)

12 Barbra Streisand ($40 million)

13 Jason Aldean ($39 million)

14 Lady Antebellum ($38 million)

15 Red Hot Chili Peppers ($33 million)

16 Brad Paisley ($33 million)

17 Nickelback ($33 million)

18 Trans-Siberian Orchestra ($33 million)

19 Elton John ($32 million)

20 Justin Bieber ($30 million)

21 Rod Stewart ($30 million)

22 Neil Diamond ($29 million)

23 Pearl Jam ($27 million)

24 Taylor Swift ($26 million)

25 Rascal Flatts ($26 million)