When thinking of someone who DJ’s, not everyone will have the same definition of what their work entitles. Some might envision a skinny, scruffy attention-seeker who mixes out of their parents’ garage, when they’re not working their real jobs – if they even have a real job. The truth is, though, that some of these digital music-smiths are incredibly hard working and have raked in more cash from their mixing gigs, than most people could ever dream of earning in their entire lives. This goes out to prove that music is more important than ever, and also proves that there’s nothing that some people won’t pay for a good party. The list below shows who the highest grossing DJ’s in the world are, solely based on their music. In other words, DJ’s who are worth millions because of their music and not from various business ventures.
10. Hardwell – $9.5 Million
Robbert van de Corput, better known as Hardwell, is a 26 year old DJ born in the Netherlands. The young star has been DJing since 2006 but gained successful recognition in 2009, and since then, has definitely been a big name in the progressive and electro-house music world. He has been headlining at some of the largest music festivals in the world such as, ‘Ultra Music Festival’ and ‘Tomorrowland’ and only seems to be continuing to grow. Additionally, in 2014, Hardwell confirmed his new residency at the exclusive Ushuaia Ibiza hotel, and is a resident DJ at the Hakkasan Nightclub in Las Vegas, as well.
9. Skrillex – $15 Million
One of the most mainstream DJs to make the list is Skrillex, although it’s hard to know if he’s become more well known for his DJ skills, or for his glasses and side-mullet. It doesn’t really matter, though, since whichever is the case, it’s working just fine for him. From his spot at the Las Vegas nightclub, Wynn’s XS, to his recorded album earnings, Skrillex has proved that you can definitely make a name for yourself while creating electronic music.
8. Deadmau5 – $18 Million
Clad in his famous mouse-helmet, Deadmau5 can mix up your party for the cool price of $200,000. With these rates, the famous DJ rakes in a serious amount of cash and doesn’t have to perform nearly as much as other DJs with the same notoriety because of it. He also earns dough with his Mau5trap label, crafting his own recorded tracks and by juggling merchandise licensing.
7. Kaskade – $20 Million
Along with mixing beats, Kaskade is also known as being one of the older and more established DJs around. But at 42 years old, there is no doubt he can still party like he’s in his 20s. Which is probably what has brought him so much success in his career. In one year, he has been known to play over 130 shows, most notably with his ‘Freaks of Nature Tour’ and as a resident at Cosmopolitan’s Marquee.
6. Afrojack – $20 Million
This is how loaded Nick “Afrojack” van de Wall is from his DJing game – He totaled the Ferrari 458, less than an hour after purchasing it and then just turned around the next day and bought himself a new one. Along with being a headliner in Wynn Las Vegas’ DJ lineup and playing at massive music festivals, 25-year-old Afrojack has also helped put together tracks for big names like Chris Brown and Pitbull. His label, Wall Recordings, does pretty well for him, too.
5. David Guetta – $30 Million
David Guetta is another DJ who has been mastering his trade for a very long time. DJing since the 1980s, he’s learned quite a few tricks along the way. Collaborating with some of the top artists in the world like The Black Eyed Peas and Usher, Guetta found mainstream success in 2009, when he released his studio album ‘One Love’. His follow up 2011 album, ‘Nothing but the Beat’ continued his success, especially with the hit song Titanium. Luckily for his fans, despite being at it for years, Guetta continues to perform at huge music festivals around the world and shows no signs of throwing in the towel.
4. Armin Van Buuren – $40 Million
Although the European trance legend may not be quite as famous in the U.S. as he is overseas, where he is just a few steps below king, he clearly deserves his 4th spot on this list. He keeps his audience entertained and up-to-date with his weekly radio show, A State of Trance. He even landed a gig at the coronation of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima in the Netherlands, all the while finding time to release five studio albums, play at almost all of the biggest music festivals in the world and continue to create new trance tracks.
3. Calvin Harris – $46 Million
That isn’t a typo. Calvin Harris is reportedly worth an astonishing $46 million. That’s more than some of the biggest pop stars are worth today, and that’s saying a lot. The 29 year old mega-famous DJ reportedly charges fees of over $200,000 per night and plays over 100 shows a year. He also earns from songwriting and producing for hit makers like Rihanna. On how he achieved his fame, Harris told Forbes magazine, “I happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
2. Avicii – $48 Million
23 year old Swedish DJ, Avicii, also known as Tim Bergling, is one of the youngest of the wealthy Electronic Dance Music (EDM) DJ’s. And he didn’t get there by having it handed to him, either. Avicii’s sick skills were proudly self-taught when he pirated software that he tinkered with at home, by himself. He told Forbes, “You don’t really need anything anymore. You need your computer.” Seems like a pretty decent return on investment.
1. Tiesto – $75 Million
The name Tiesto undoubtedly rings a bell, considering he has been around longer than some of the newest DJs on the scene have been alive. Further proof that hard work really does pay off. He has scored major headlining acts at mega clubs such as Las Vegas’ Hakkasan club and said that he took it “not just for the money, but also what they’re going to do there, the biggest club in the world.” Doing what he loves enables him to find different motivations to continue to grow.