With the resurgence and increasing popularity of the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) genre, DJ paydays have skyrocketed to stratospheric levels. As a follow-up to the list of the World’s Highest Paid Models, Forbes magazine has now revealed its list of the World’s Highest Paid DJ’s.
The list includes earnings from live shows, merchandise sales, endorsements deals and external business ventures, as well as recorded music sales for the “Electronic Cash Kings”, as Forbes likes to put it…
The top five highest-paid DJ’s in the World for 2014 are:
1) Calvin Harris – $66 million
After playing more than 125 gigs and raking in an eye-watering $66 million last year, Calvin Harris was crowned the highest-paid DJ in the world! He found tremendous success working with Pop stars like Rihanna and Kesha which really helped cement his place as a mainstream musician. Nowadays, Harris works as a resident DJ at Hakkasan, the hottest nightclub on the Las Vegas strip.
2) David Guetta – $30 million
Coming in at No. 2, the French DJ David Guetta made his millions performing at countless music festivals and collaborating with singing sensations like Nicki Minaj, Akon, Usher, Ludacris, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne (to name a few). Guetta watched his career skyrocket after his album ‘Nothing but the Beat’ released in 2011. The platinum-selling record also earned him an endorsement deal with tech giant HP.
3) Avicii – $28 million
Tied at No. 3 is 24-year-old Swedish House DJ Avicii. Avicii saw the best year of his career thanks largely in-part to the success of his debut album ‘True’ which earned him a Grammy nomination for ‘Best Dance Single’. He also had the privilege of headlining at the prestigious Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago.
3) Tiesto – $28 million
In recent years Dutch sensation DJ Tiesto has shifted his focus from the island getaway that is Ibiza to the Las Vegas strip in Nevada, where he is one of the few resident DJ’s (alongside Calvin Harris). Playing over 100 shows a year, Tiesto boasted earnings in the region of $60 million over the past two years.
4) Steve Aoki – $23 million
After performing a staggering 277 shows Worldwide, record producer, DJ and Founder of Dim Mak Records Steve Aoki comes in at No. 4. The American-born musician and son of Benihana owner Rocky Aoki, is known for playing multiple shows in-a-day, more than any other DJ on the list. Aoki told Forbes, he’s ‘mastered the art of power napping’.
5) Afrojack – $22 million
Nick Van De Wall, popularly known by his stage name Afrojack, quickly rose to fame after the release of his long-awaited studio album ‘Forget the World’. The ex-boyfriend of socialite and DJ (*cough) Paris Hilton, he also moonlights as a record producer for Wall Recordings which in addition to himself, has a number of Dutchhouse DJ’s signed to the label.