The high earners on the list prove yet again that electronic music is booming (pun intended.)
House, dubstep, drum and bass – electronic music in various forms is thriving at the moment, as Forbes’ list of the world’s highest paid DJ’s goes to show. The chart was topped by Scottish-born DJ Calvin Harris, who earned $46 million in the past year, thanks to high profile collaborations and six-figure nightly fees.
Harris, who prefers a low-key lifestyle most of the time, has played venues in Vegas, Ibiza and around the world.
“The rise of dance music has been astronomical in the last three years,” he tells FORBES. “I happened to be in the right place at the right time.” Maybe chance had something to do with it, but Harris’s talent and business savvy meant that in the past year, he played over 100 shows, with nightly fees upwards of $200 000. It was his collaborations with the likes of Rihanna and LMFAO, however, which boosted him to the top of the Forbes chart. Harris is followed closely on the Electronic Cash Kings list by Dutchman Tijs Verwest, better known by his stage name Tiesto. In 2012 and 2013, the DJ earned close to $32 million. Like Harris, the DJ attributes his success to the rise in popularity of various electronic music genres. For Forbes, Verwest commented: “In America, dance music is booming. At the moment … it’s the most exciting genre.”
Tiesto came in second with a respectable $32 million.
Other huge names on the electronic music scene, some of whom have only risen to prominence in the past year or two, include Frenchmad David Guetta with $30 million and Swedish House Mafia in fourth place with $25 million. The house supergroup broke up in March of this year, but their earnings until that point were enough to earn them a spot on the chart. Deadmau5 and his mouse helmet round out the top 5 with earnings of $21 million. The full list is available on the Forbes website.
House sensation Skrillex narrowly missed the Top 5.