Beautiful people, skimpy dresses or naked torsos, some ill-advised twerking to the hottest tunes and – often – drunken debauchery. All the things we associate with a good night of clubbing. Before leaving to dance the night away at the local club, you may want to check up on the DJ who’ll be spinning the soundtrack to your evening. Sometimes you might recognize the name – and in that case, you’ll likely realize that you should have left hours ago if you want to get into the club at all. More often, you won’t recognize the musical maestro on the decks, though. If you are lucky enough to catch a set by one of the world’s best DJs, you’ll likely be in the company of thousands of starstruck fans who’ve all paid anything from$100 to several hundred dollars to witness their idol spin his or her magic: But did you know that your club entry fee will be contributing to making that same celebrity DJ richer than the typical CEO of a Fortune 500 company?
What you probably don’t take into consideration when planning your night out is how much money the DJ is making for a few short hours of work. The biggest celebrity DJs could make enough in one year to retire and live comfortably for the rest of their lives; nice work if you can get it, especially considering the fact that most only work two nights a week and are getting paid to socialize, entertain, and keep the clubbers pumped! A lot of these DJs even have groupies, who follow them from club to club just to spend their evening listening to their favorite spinner’s latest set. It’s not surprising, then, that clubs hosting big name DJs can often sell out in a matter of minutes, and are typically swarming with fans lined up outside or all around the club trying to get a glimpse of the star Disk Jockey.
As far as getting paid to spend late nights hyping up the crowd, posing for photos with gorgeous women, and making a luxurious living working two nights a week, there are five celebrity DJs in particular that take the cake. Although Paris Hilton may claim to be one of the highest paid DJs, she didn’t make the grade! The top earning DJs in the world made their name through mixing and even creating their own music, and the money that these five top-earning DJs in the world bring home is staggering. We’ve looked at the officially reported networths of these five world-famous artists in the Electronic Dance Music industry, to give you a comprehensive report on just how popular the most popular DJs truly are – and what that means for their bank accounts.
5. Deadmau5- $21 Million
Although he comes in at the bottom of our list, you should definitely not underestimate the mass appeal (or the bank account) of this eccentric, helmeted performer. Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5, is a Canadian progressive-house music producer. Although he is probably best known for his trendy mouse-shaped helmets that often light up or pulse with LED colors, he is also known as one of the founding fathers of the Dubstep music genre. Alongside fellow Dubstep creator Skrillex, Deadmau5 brought the music sensation out of the underground and into the mainstream. Recently, he surpassed Skrillex in earnings and it’s rumoured that Zimmerman now rakes in $200,000 a night. He also manages his own label, Mau5trap, and has kept himself firmly in the limelight by starting friendly feuds with Skrillex. At one point, he famously showed up to an event with a t-shirt that featured Skrillex’s personal cell phone number and the phrase “u mad bro?” Skrillex took the prank in good humor, posting to his Twitter fans about the incident.
4. Swedish House Mafia- $25 million
As their name implies, these progressive house DJs hail from Sweden. Since their first release in 2007, Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrossos – who together make up Swedish House Mafia – have seen their careers go from strength to strength. A venue that secures this act, or even just one of the three DJs, is almost certain to sell out the event in a matter of hours at most. Fans can’t get enough of the trio, shelling out big bucks to fly across the country or world to see their idols. In fact, it was the announcement of their final ever tour dates in 2012, and the buying frenzy which followed, that secured their spot on our list. The DJs’ popularity and ticket sales soared when they announced on June 24, 2012 that their 2012 world tour would be their last. Fans all over the world flocked to the ticket booths and venues, and powered up their computers for a chance to snag a ticket to one of their events. In March 2013 at the Ultra Music Festival, they made their final appearance and confirmed that they were indeed breaking up for good. Their fans will miss them, but they’ve certainly built a tidy retirement fund.
3. David Guetta- $30 million
Over the years, David Guetta has become a household name. Devoted fans of this French DJ follow him from country to country and venue to venue, and will line up outside and spend the entire night never once stepping foot in the club just for a chance to overhear his music or see him. Fans will spend an average of $200 to see Guetta perform for a couple of hours and some will even pay over $400 for good seats on a Friday or Saturday evening. This French DJ specializes in house music and when he is not spinning at the hottest clubs, he can be found making music. David Guetta has recorded with several popular artists including Flo Rida, Nicki Minaj, and Ester Dean. He has sold over six million albums worldwide and fifteen million singles and has also been voted as the number 1 DJ by a fan-based poll. An impressive career that has netted him, to date, over $30 million.
2. Tiesto- $32 Million
It should come as no surprise that this Dutch DJ comes in near top of our list. Because of this incredible following, Tiesto has been known to earn a shocking $250,000 per night. DJ Magazine Top 100 Popularity Poll has also ranked him as number 1 three consecutive times thanks to his dedicated followers. When he isn’t spinning records at the hottest clubs, he can be found recording music. He has released 9 albums and even recorded with Sarah McLachlan early on in his career, on the popular single ‘Delerium’, which arguably accelerated the increase in his popularity. In 2007, Tiesto ambitiously launched his own radio show, ‘Tiesto’s Club Life’ on Radio 538 in the Netherlands, and released his third album entitled Elements of Life. Both his radio show and album were met with overwhelming approval and his album placed number one on a Dutch album chart and on the Billboard Top Electronic Albums in the United States. Tiesto has maintained worldwide success, DJing at the world’s most famous club nights and festivals internationally. With $32 million, he can afford the jet-setting lifestyle.
1. Calvin Harris- $46 Million
And now we’ve reach number 1 (is anyone surprised we haven’t seen a single American DJ on the list?) and the Scotsman Adam Richard Wiles, better known as Calvin Harris, is the multitalented DJ who takes the crown. Calvin Harris doesn’t just spin the decks; he’s also a singer, songwriter, respected record producer and owner of the highly coveted vanity label Fly Eye Records. Not bad for a 29 year old! In addition to being the world’s highest paid DJ currently, he also holds the record for the most top ten hits from one studio album on the UK singles chart, which puts him above legends like Michael Jackson. Over the years he has been nominated for several awards and among his accolades are Songwriter of the Year and Best Commercial/Pop Dance track. Although Calvin Harris seems to attract a lot of attention from the ladies, he currently firmly established at girlfriend Rita Ora’s side. Sorry girls! You’ll just have to stick to fantasizing while admiring him from his DJing pedestal…
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