What would a party be without a DJ to pump up the music and drive up the energy of the crowd? Whether the party is on the beach, in a bar, a hotel rooftop, a stadium, coliseum, arena, or even at somebody’s home, party-goers always rely on DJ’s to keep the event alive. After all, they make already great songs even better, making one want to rave and dance all night long.
The likes of Steve Aoki, Diplo, and DJ Pauly D are some of the biggest names around. Yet, these three are not even the biggest earning DJ’s today. Here now is a list of the top 10 highest paid DJ’s in the world for 2013. The figures are based on their earnings from their live show performances, record sales, business ventures and merchandise sales from June 2012 to June 2013.
10. Kaskade – $16 million
His real name is Ryan Raddon, but he is better known by his stage name of Kaskade. In 2011, he was awarded in a DJ Times survey as the Best DJ in America. He is already 42 years old, but he is still considered as one of the best. He became more popular in the early part of 2009 when American progressive house music was experiencing a revival. He has already released 10 albums, starting from 2003. In 2013, he was nominated for the Grammy Awards for Best Dance/Electronica Album for Fire and Ice. He now performs regularly at the Cosmopolitan’s Marquee.
9. Skrillex – $16 million
His real name is Sonny John Moore, but he is better known by his stage name of Skrillex. He used to be part of the post-hardcore band called From First to Last, which released two albums back in the 2000’s. He released an EP in 2009 called “Gypsyhook.” In 2010, he took the stage name of Skrillex and released the EP called “My Name is Skrillex.” He has released five other EPs since then. He has already won six Grammy Awards. He is also the resident DJ in Wynn’s XS nightclub.
8. Armin van Buuren – $17 million
Armin van Buuren is a native of the Netherlands. Aside from being a DJ, he is also a producer of trance music. He has been voted as the top DJ by DJ Magazine five times, including four consecutive years from 2007 to 2010. He has hosted a radio show called “A State of Trance” since 2001, which is aired in 26 countries with more than 20 million listeners. He has done shows from Malaysia to the United States.
7. Afrojack – $18 million
His real name is Nick van de Wall, but he goes by the stage name of Afrojack. The Dutchman first burst into the scene in 2010 when he became the highest newcomer in DJ Magazine’s list of top DJ’s in the world. He ranked number 19 at that time, and by the following year, he was already in the top 10. He was featured in the Pitbull song called “Give Me Everything,” a hit single that also had Ne-Yo and Nayer. He was also part of the Beyonce single entitled “Run the World (Girls).” He is part of the regular DJ lineup of Wynn in Las Vegas.
6. Avicii – $20 million
His real name is Tim Bergling, but he goes by the stage name of Avicii. The native of Sweden is a house-genre DJ considered by DJ Magazine as one of the top three DJ’s in the world. In 2011, he released two compilations, namely “Avicii Presents Strictly Miami” and “The Singles.” A couple of years later, he released the album called True. He is only 23 years old, the youngest DJ on the list, and he only learned DJ work by using pirated software on his computer.
5. Deadmau5 – $21 million
His real name is Joel Thomas Zimmerman, but the Canadian DJ goes by the name of Deadmau5, which is pronounced as dead mouse. He released his first album in 2005 entitled Get Scraped, and five more albums followed this up later on. He has also been nominated for a Grammy Award five times. In 2010, he won a couple of awards, namely Best Canadian DJ and Best Artist. He also won Best Electro Track for the single “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff.”
4. Swedish House Mafia – $25 million
The Swedish House Mafia was an electronic dance music trio that lasted from 2008 to March 2013. It was made up of Axwell, Steven Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso. It was a super group that was called the faces of mainstream progressive house music. The group was nominated in the Grammy Awards for Best Dance Recording in 2012 and 2013 for “Save the World” and “Don’t You Worry Child,” respectively.
3. David Guetta – $30 million
David Guetta is a house music producer and DJ from France. He started out as a DJ in nightclubs back in the 80’s. In 2002, he released his first album called Just a Little More Love. In 2009, he achieved success with One Love that produced three songs that went to number one in the United Kingdom. He was voted as best DJ in 2011 after he released the album Nothing but the Beat that included the hit singles “Where Them Girls At,” “Little Bad Girl,” “Titanium” and “Turn Me On.”
2. Tiesto – $32 million
His real name is Tijs Michiel Verwest, but the Dutch musician is better known as Tiesto. He is the first DJ to ever play live on stage at the Olympic Games, doing so in 2004 during the opening ceremonies in Athens. He is now the house DJ at the Las Vegas super club called Hakkasan.
1. Calvin Harris – $46 million
His real name is Adam Richard Wiles, but the Scottish DJ is better known as Calvin Harris. He holds the record for most top 10 songs from a single album in the United Kingdom, with nine hits. He also writes songs and produces for music superstars like Rihanna. Earlier this year, he committed to stay for two more years and at least 70 more shows in the Las Vegas club called Hakkasan.
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