Highest Paid DJs: Calvin Harris Tops Forbes’ Annual List; Tiesto, Afrojack, Skrillex Also Make The Cut

 @AndrewBerry1
on August 16 2013 4:53 PM
Calvin Harris
Top-earning DJ Calvin Harris has made $46 million over the past year. Reuters

There’s no doubt electronic dance music has exploded into the popular consciousness. From its humble beginnings in clubs, fields and warehouses all the way to its current status as the most popular genre in music -- capable of filling arenas – a slew of disc jockeys now enjoy a level of fame and fortune heretofore available only to rock musicians and pop stars.

With that in mind, Forbes has unveiled its annual list of the world’s highest-paid DJs, which features the likes of Calvin Harris, Tiesto, David Guetta Deadmau5 and others. DJ/producer Harris tops the list, raking in $46 million over the past year. According to Forbes, the 29-year-old can make more than $200,000 per performance. He’s also collaborated with pop stars such as Rihanna and Mary J. Blige.

“The rise of dance music has been astronomical in the last three years,” Harris told Forbes. “I happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

Dutch DJ Tiesto came in at No. 2, earning $32 million. “In America, dance music is booming,” Tiesto, who claimed the top spot last year, told Forbes. “At the moment ... it’s the most exciting genre.”

Many artists on the list can attribute their success to nonstop touring, in addition to movie scores, endorsements, commercials, record labels, pop collaborations and DJ residencies in places such as Las Vegas.

“I think Las Vegas is really taking over from Ibiza this year,” Tiesto said. “You can already see ... all the DJs having their residence there now. It’s going to be interesting to see how that develops. But it looks really good.”

“The money you get for DJing at these places has gone to extremes,” noted Avicii, who earned $20 million.

See the full list of the world’s highest-paid DJs below, along with an accompanying video from Forbes:

1) Calvin Harris -- $46 million

2) Tiesto -- $32 million

3) David Guetta -- $30 million

4) Swedish House Mafia -- $25 million

5) Deadmau5 -- $21 million

6) Avicii -- $20 million

7) Afrojack -- $18 million

8) Armin Van Buuren -- $17 million

9) Kaskade -- $16 million

9) Skrillex -- $16 million

11) Steve Aoki -- $14 million

12) Diplo -- $13 million

12) DJ Pauly D -- $13 million

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