Why These Pop Stars Don't Go On Tour

Buying tickets to watch their favorite artist or band on tour is a no-brainer for fans. However, for the musician themselves, it's a way to secure a wealthy income.

Taylor Swift, who Billboard reported bagged $345 million from her Reputation Stadium Tour, admitted to BBC Radio 1, "I do have to leave the cats behind when I leave the country, which is the hardest part." That said, her ongoing popularity has allowed the "Shake It Off" hitmaker to enjoy plenty of tours. "When I was starting out I'd go on tour for three months ... I thank God we get to play bigger shows so I don't have to play as many," Swift explained. She was one of many artists to forgo touring in favor of safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her comeback, The Eras Tour, left many fans ticketless and disappointed due to Ticketmaster/Live Nation mayhem, which has led to a Senate hearing (per The New York Times). 

Lady Gaga, on the other hand, tweeted to her Little Monsters ahead of the Chromatica Ball in 2022, "There was a time I thought I'd never be on stage again," referencing her health issues. "I was so sad I couldn't even dream anything but a painful nightmare," she continued. Ultimately, Gaga kicked butt and made an average of over $5.8 million per city (via ABC News). While touring allows stars to earn a hefty amount of cash, some musicians have less desire to perform night after night. Here are 12 examples.

Enya's lack of touring experience makes sense

Enya is a very successful musician around the world, so there's certainly some demand for her to tour. Throughout her three-decade career, the Irish singer has never been on tour and rarely ever performs. During her debut 1998 performance on "Top of the Pops," Enya performed "Orinoco Flow" with no microphone, making it clear she was lip-syncing to a backing track. While the Grammy Award-winning star has never revealed why she made this choice, her reasons for not embarking on a tour indicate why.

In a 2015 interview with the BBC, the "Caribbean Blue" hitmaker explained that re-creating her songs in a live setting "wouldn't really have been possible" during the early stages of her career. She still wasn't sure about touring, but Enya acknowledged that the possibility of going on the road was stronger now that concerts have evolved. Another factor in Enya's lack of performance is that she was always busy making another complex album during the periods she could have toured, devoting years to her beautiful layered vocals — as dictated by her contract. "The success of [my debut album] 'Watermark' caught them by surprise, as it did me. They were worried that if I went on tour and then had three years to work on the next album, it would be too much of a gap," she continued.

In 2015, Enya performed with a choir and string orchestra on television but has yet to ever go on tour, as of this writing.

Kate Bush found performing 'exhausting' and scary

Kate Bush has always been one of music's most fascinating figures. Her unique voice, storytelling lyrics, and low-profile status have all contributed to why fans can't get enough of the singer. After debuting on the music scene in 1978 with two albums — "The Kick Inside" and "Lionheart" — Bush embarked on her first-ever six-week tour in 1979, Tour of Life, across Europe. "It was enormously enjoyable. But physically it was absolutely exhausting," the "Wuthering Heights" chart-topper told Mojo in 2011 (via BBC News).

Despite the positive experience, it wouldn't be until 35 years later that Bush would take on her second run of shows. Titled "Before The Dawn," the 22 concerts only took place at Eventim Apollo in London in 2014, ultimately becoming a residency instead of a world tour. In a 2016 interview with the Independent, Bush admitted the gap between live shows was never supposed to be that long. She had wanted to perform again after creating a couple more albums of new music. The artist confessed that after 1981's "The Dreaming" album, "It had gone off an a slight tilt, because I'd become so much more involved in the recording process." After becoming a mom to her son Bertie, Bush also told BBC Radio 4's "Front Row," "My family life is incredibly important to me and it comes first."

Two years after her "Before The Dawn" shows, Bush explained to BBC Radio 6 that she was "terrified" to get back on stage after so many decades. When asked whether she would ever perform live again, Bush was unsure.

Anxiety got in the way of Zayn's live shows

When Zayn Malik left One Direction in 2015, he found instant success as a solo artist, topping the charts globally with his debut single "PILLOWTALK" and album "Mind of Mine." However, he had no desire to hit the road with only one album, telling German Interview magazine (translated by Google), "People should be entertained from the first to the last minute, but that's not possible when you only have a handful of songs. I think with the new album I have enough songs together." 

When scheduled to perform at Capital FM's Summertime Ball in 2016, Malik pulled out at the very last minute, tweeting, "Unfortunately my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me." Malik added, "I promise I will do my best to make this up to everybody I've let down today. I know those who suffer anxiety will understand and I hope those who don't can empathise with my situation." Months later, he canceled a Dubai show for the same reason.

In 2018, Malik told BBC Radio 1 that he had the confidence to perform and was rehearsing live shows for his second album (via BBC News). The following year, he gave fans hope that his debut tour was near, tweeting, "F*** me, I can not wait to get on stage ! Mans got tunes that bang for days ! Haha feelin ready." That said, hitting the road is something the "Trampoline" hitmaker has yet to do as a solo artist.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Dolly Parton quit touring to spend time with her hubby

With a career spanning nearly six decades, it goes without saying that Dolly Parton is a massive icon. Parton built up her legacy as a consistent touring artist and has a history of writing some of the most famous songs. In 2014, the "9 to 5" hitmaker performed and was honored with the legends slot on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

While the country singer has embarked on her fair share of tours, it appears she is no longer interested in hitting the road for long periods of time. "I do not think I will ever tour again, but I do know I'll do special shows here and there, now and then," Parton informed Pollstar in October 2022. "Maybe do a long weekend of shows, or just a few shows at a festival. But I have no intention of going on a full-blown tour anymore. I've done that my whole life, and it takes so much time and energy." Now that she and her husband of 56 years, Carl Dean, are getting older, Parton's decision came down to the fact that she would rather be available for him instead of being away for weeks.

Parton ended her touring career on a high, as her official website noted that her Pure & Simple Tour in 2016 became her biggest North American tour in over two and a half decades.

Touring makes Adele feel vulnerable

While Adele has performed live for each of her albums, she has never been shy about admitting it's not her favorite aspect of the job. When Graham Norton brought up the subject on his talk show in 2011, Adele acknowledged that she had such bad stage fright that she'd physically vomit. After hitting it big with her debut album "19," Adele chose to cancel much of the U.S. leg of her tour in 2008 to spend time with her then-boyfriend. The following year, she told Nylon (via the Mirror) that she now regrets that decision.

By the time Adele was touring "25," she had reached stadium status and was honest with fans in Auckland, New Zealand. "Touring isn't something I'm good at ... applause makes me feel a bit vulnerable. I don't know if I will ever tour again. The only reason I've toured is you. ... My greatest accomplishment in my career is this tour," she told her audience, according to NZ Herald. Adele's promoter at the time, Michael Coppel, had warned fans in Australia through The Daily Telegraph, "We may never see her again" (via NZ Herald).

Since "25," Adele has yet to announce another tour. To promote her "30" record, she played two exclusive London shows at Hyde Park for BST Festival and revealed she would perform in her first-ever Las Vegas residency, "Weekends With Adele," at Caesars Palace. Though she tearfully announced on Instagram in early 2022 that she was rescheduling the shows for various COVID-related reasons, her residency came to fruition that November.

Gwen Stefani doesn't see a future with No Doubt

Even when No Doubt hadn't released any new music, the ska-punk band still chose to tour their legendary back catalog. The "Spiderwebs" hitmakers' last studio album, "Push And Shove," dropped in 2012; however, their very last show together as a band took place in 2015. After Stefani celebrated the 25th anniversary of No Doubt's most popular album, "Tragic Kingdom," in 2021, she discussed the future of the band with Variety. "I don't know about No Doubt," Stefani admitted. "We had so many years together and we all have families now and that's just our priority. I can't really imagine what the future holds with that."

When preparing for their final show, the "Hollaback Girl" singer confessed, she predicted the end of her journey with No Doubt, despite the band never confirming a split or hiatus. "We had done some big shows together, a bunch of festivals probably six years ago, and we knew that was kind of the last thing we were going to do together," she continued. No Doubt's drummer, Tom Dumont, also said in a now-deleted Instagram upload (via Inquisitr) that he didn't think a tour was likely, even though would have enjoyed one last run with his band mates. He didn't state why new performances wouldn't be feasible. "It's bittersweet. In any case, what great memories," he added.

Victoria Beckham 'couldn't commit' to a Spice Girls tour

Victoria Beckham, also known as Posh Spice, first rose to fame in the late '90s as a founding member of the Spice Girls and chose to reunite with her group members in 2007 for their comeback tour, and in 2012 for the Olympics closing ceremony performance in London. However, Beckham has since been vocal about not wanting to tour with the pop group anymore.

When news broke that the Spice Girls would be reuniting again for a 2019 stadium tour, it was announced that Beckham would not be present at any of the shows. During a televised interview on "Live with Kelly and Ryan," she explained that she was happy to leave her performing days in the past as she was busy running her own empire. That same year, she told Extra TV at E!'s People Choice Awards on the red carpet that her priority was to take care of her family and her business. She insisted, "I think the girls are gonna do a great job, I'm really excited for them." While Beckham is a Spice Girl at heart, she prefers to be supportive from the audience.

With rumors circling that the Spice Girls might go on tour one more time, Beckham was asked again in October 2022 on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" whether she would be interested all these years later. The answer, unfortunately, was pretty much the same. "With everything else that I've got going on, with my fashion, and my beauty line, four children, I couldn't commit to that," she said.

Tina Turner is happily retired

It's been well over a decade since Tina Turner last toured, and it seems that will remain the last opportunity fans had to see her live. In October 2008, the "Simply The Best" hitmaker kicked off her final tour to date, Tina!: 50th Anniversary, in Kansas City before retiring from showbiz, making $47.7 million from the North American leg, according to Reuters. The following year, she completed the tour in Europe, where the shows grossed a further $86 million, per Billboard. Along with the financial perks, Turner enjoyed her time on the '08-'09 tour, especially reconnecting with her musicians. However, she appears to be finished with the touring life and is pretty content with her privacy — Turner has remained out of the public eye despite a demand for a comeback. 

After the release of her 2021 self-titled documentary, "Tina," with HBO, many might have hoped that Turner would return to the stage. However, according to one of the directors, Daniel Lindsay, she has no plans of coming out of retirement. "She has lived a remarkable life obviously but she views her career as work and when she retired in 2009, that was it for her," Lindsay told the PA news agency (via Evening Standard). "She's not someone who is going to come back and do another show."

ABBA will never tour or make new music ever again

In November 2021, Swedish pop group ABBA returned with their first album in four decades, "Voyage." As noted by Music Business Worldwide, the album charted at the top spot in 18 different countries and sold over one million copies globally the week of its debut. While fans were relieved that their favorite group was finally back, Björn Ulvaeus broke the news with The Sun pretty quickly that "Voyage" would be their final album, while their manager, Gorel Hanser, said they'd never go on another tour.

"They will not be performing as a group again," Hanser told the Daily Mirror (via Smooth Radio). Instead of performing in person every night, ABBA currently has their own virtual concert residency, ABBA Voyage, that features life-like avatars, dubbed "ABBAtars," at the ABBA Arena in London. "Björn and Benny talked about maybe it would be good to have a couple of new songs included in this show ... and then they wrote some new songs for this show," Hanser continued. While ABBA hasn't confirmed the main reason why they have no desire to tour, The Sun noted that Anni-Frid Lyngstad does have a fear of flying and likes to remain very lowkey.

The pandemic impacted Mariah Carey's choice to not tour

Not only did the coronavirus pandemic stop musicians from performing at shows, but it appears to have impacted the desire to tour, for some. During a 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, powerhouse vocalist Mariah Carey was asked about tour plans and revealed, "I'm so not going on tour ever again in my life." When asked whether she was being serious or not, Carey made it clear that she wasn't joking. "I miss my fans and being with them, and that's the only thing that's great. But with COVID — and I'm not saying I had it because I've never tested positive for it — but I'm just saying it's a little bit weird right now being around a whole bunch of people or whatever," she said.

As for discussing how live concerts would develop in the future, Carey laughed and insisted, "I don't care because I'm not going." That said, the "Vision of Love" hitmaker has returned to the stage since live concerts are up and running again. In September 2022, she performed at Global Citizen Festival in New York and has since announced a couple of Christmas shows for the festive season. A tour, however, still doesn't seem to be on the horizon.

Nao became completely burned out

Grammy-nominated singer Nao had built herself a live reputation with her first two studio albums — "For All We Know" and "Saturn" — therefore, it was inevitable that fans expected her to tour her third album, "And Then Life Was Beautiful." In a 2021 interview with EUPHORIA. around the LP's release, Nao informed fans that she planned to hit the road again. However, she did admit that the tour would be less intense due to feeling burned out after the last, stating, "My body hasn't been able to cope with the way I've been touring before." However, the mom realized (and told the Independent) that her plans of touring the record had to be completely scrapped due to her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

"I've been burnt out for three years and I'm still not better, and I have to put my health first," she explained to readers. "If you're a healthy person and you go on tour, you come back and you're absolutely f*****." While touring earns both the artist and record labels a lot of cash, her label supported her decision not to travel with her new album. It is still unknown whether Nao will hit the road with her future material.

Girls Aloud aren't ready to perform without Sarah Harding

In September 2021, the tragic news of Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding dying from cancer left fans distraught. Prior to her death, group mate Nicola Roberts agreed on "The One Show" in 2020 that it would be a good idea for the group to reunite and commemorate their 20th anniversary in 2022. However, following Harding's passing, the remaining members of the chart-topping group admit it isn't something they are now interested in.

After taking part in Race For Life — a charity run in memory of Harding — Roberts, Cheryl, and Nadine Coyle spoke to The Sun Showbiz and discussed Harding's absence. "For us, right now, we don't feel like Girls Aloud, we don't feel like a band without Sarah. ... She was such a huge part of our energy," Roberts explained. Upon announcing they would be hosting a fundraising gala to raise more money for charity, rumors suggested that Girls Aloud might be reuniting to perform. However, Kimberley Walsh said on BBC's "Morning Live" (via Wales Online), "We won't be getting back on stage together. We don't quite feel ready to get back on stage without Sarah." 

In an interview with OK!, Nadine Coyle said she and the group were always thinking of Sarah and were fundraising in her memory. "We want to raise money for a piece of medical equipment that helps diagnose cancer earlier so people can be treated. We definitely want to do something to help others," she said (via Evening Standard).