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Rolling Stones unveil biggest tour in six years

Mick Jagger (L) and Keith Richards perform onstage during the Rolling Stones final concert of their "50 and Counting Tour" in Newark, New Je
Mick Jagger (L) and Keith Richards perform onstage during the Rolling Stones final concert of their "50 and Counting Tour" in Newark, New Je

LONDON (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones unveiled details of their biggest tour in six years on Wednesday, playing dates in North America and Britain after a stage comeback last year to celebrate 50 years in music.

The band said they would kick off their "50 and Counting" tour in Los Angeles on an unspecified date but would then play Oakland, California on May 5 and eight other cities including Toronto and London, UK.

The veteran rockers, who played to sell-out crowds on a mini-tour of London and New York last year, have already said they will headline Britain's biggest musical festival Glastonbury on June 29.

To celebrate 50 years the band also released a greatest hits collection, a documentary, and a photographic book and then sparked rumors about more concerts with a March 29th post on their website that said "5 Days & Counting..."

"'50 and Counting' has been pretty amazing so far," lead singer Mick Jagger said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We did a few shows in London and New York last year ... and had such a good time that we thought...let's do some more."

The band, working with privately held tour promoter AEG Live, will also play in San Jose, Las Vegas, Anaheim, Toronto, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia in May and June with tickets going on sale beginning April 8.

They will play London's Hyde Park on July 6.

Live performances have emerged as the major money earner in the music business as the industry goes digital with growing numbers of veteran acts returning to stage and attracting well-heeled, ageing fans willing to pay high prices for tickets.

Concert-tracking website Pollstar said the band grossed $35.5 million from their mini-tour in late 2012 when high ticket prices ranging from 95-950 pounds ($1,500) rankled some fans.

The Rolling Stones, which are comprised of Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on guitar, and Charlie Watts on drums, emerged alongside The Beatles in the early 1960s.

They became one of the most successful groups in rock and roll history with hits such as "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Sympathy for the Devil".

The band has toured 40 times in a five-decade career, mostly across Europe and North America in the 1960s and 1970s.

They last went on the road for their "A Bigger Bang" tour from 2005 to 2007, playing 144 shows globally and grossing more than $550 million, one of the world's most lucrative tours.

(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy and Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Paul Casciato)

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