Forbes gives a report each year of what it calls the “Electronic Cash Kings.” These are the highest paid DJs in the world. They made a combined $298 million this year, up from $270.5 million one year before. One thing that is surprising is that the top DJs are all male. This does not mean we want to put them down due to their gender because they are all talented in their own right, however, there is no reason why a female or two should be on the top-ten DJ list.
Thefader.com the days of DJs being hidden away in some mixing booths at the back of the club are gone, and these top ten DJs are up front and center as the major focus of these shows with tens of thousands of people in attendance.
10. Zedd – $19 million
Zedd is from Germany with a specialty in electro house music, but sometimes he mixes in dubstep, progressive house, and a bit of classical music. He produced top ten hits by his collaborations with Alessia Cara, Ariana Grande, and Selena Gomez.
9. Martin Garrix $19.5 million
Martin Garrix is a DJ from Holland. During 2016, DJ Mag ranked him as number one on their list of top 100 picks for the best DJs in the world. He spins as a resident DJ at the club Hi Ibiza on the resort island off the coast of Spain. Garrix got his first big break when he was discovered by Tiësto who helped him launch his career.
8. Marshmello $21 million
Marshmello gained his first taste of international attention from his remixes of songs by Jack Ü and Zedd. He keeps his true identity unknown and wears a helmet that looks like a big marshmallow for his performances. Some speculate that he is the American DJ Chris Comstock who is also known as Dotcom. At the Electric Daisy Carnival during 2016, the DJ performing as Marshmello took off his helmet to reveal he was Tiësto, which turned out to actually be a prank, so the mystery about who this DJ really is continues.
7. David Guetta $25 million
David Guetta is from France. He has a new album entitled Listen out right now. He has been part of the global DJ scene since the release of his first album Just a Little More Love in 2002. His biggest hit album so far was the 2009 release of One Love, which contained three songs, When Love Takes Over, Gettin’ Over You, and Sexy Bitch that all reached number one on the UK charts. As of 2016, he sold over nine million albums and thirty million singles globally.
6. Diplo $28.5 million
Hailing from Los Angeles Thomas Wesley Pentz goes by his stage name “Diplo.” One of the things he is known for is co-creating the popular dance hall music project Major Lazer with Skrillex. He created collaborative remix versions of songs for Die Antwoord, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Big Sean, Chris Brown, G-Dragon, Ellie Goulding, M.I.A., Madonna, MØ, Sean Paul, Shakira, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Tinie Tempah, Banda Uó, Usher, and Wale.
5. Steve Aoki $29.5 million
Steve Aoki is the master of the remix. This American DJ leans towards the electro house style, and that made him the highest paid DJ dance artist in 2012 according to Pollstar. Aoki was born in Miami, Florida, but he got his chops in the Newport Beach area of Southern California. He enjoys collaborations, producing excellent works with Afrojack, Iggy Azalea, Laidback Luke, LMFAO, Lil Jon, Linkin Park, Louis Tomlinson, and will.i.am.
4. Skrillex $30 million
Sonny John Morre performs as Skrillex. Comming from Highland Park area of Los Angeles, he was in a hardcore band and created two albums before finding his way to the top of the electronic music scene. He won three Grammy’s during 2001 as the best new artist. He likes to collaborate with another DJ on this top ten list named Diplo.
3. The Chainsmokers $$38 million
The Chainsmokers are the upstarts in the top ten list for rising to prominence with a stellar trajectory almost overtaking the well-established Tiësto. This duo of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, who are both from America, garnered worldwide attention during 2014 with their breakthrough song entitled #Selfie. Then they decided to appear on American Idol as guest performers, which made their fans think they were complete dorks. They barely survived the career misstep, but they did and they are still on their way to having millions of adoring fans worldwide.
2. Tiësto $39 million
For years Tiësto has been playing every Friday, Saturday, sometimes on Sundays, and other days of the week for special occasions. We can only hope he can find a way to sleep on planes because he is constantly traveling. Many times he arrives at the local airport and then is rushed to an ongoing major event just in time to do his masterful performance to the delight of the crowds. Tiësto is also kind enough to share the spotlight with other upcoming DJs.
1. Calvin Harris $48.5 million
The top money winner of the DJs is Calvin Harris, who held this top spot now for five years in a row thanks to headliner appearances at major festivals such as the Coachella event. Originally from Scotland, Harris earned about $48.5 million between June 2016 and June 2017 according to Forbes. That means he is about ten million dollars ahead of his closest money-earning competitor, Tiësto.
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