Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

The World's Top-Earning DJs

Are we in the midst of a dance-music bubble? Perhaps, but the only thing popping is these DJs' earnings. The top 10 racked up $268 million this year, up 11 percent from a year ago

Published: Sep 6, 2014 06:18:03 AM IST
Updated: Sep 4, 2014 04:58:14 PM IST
The World's Top-Earning DJs
Image: Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

1. CALVIN HARRIS:
$66 MILLION

Former grocery store stocker found love in the pop world, producing for Rihanna and Kesha; gigs earn him six figures per night.

2. DAVID GUETTA:
$30 MILLION

Despite high demand in Vegas, this one-time Parisian club manager flies in weekly to spin in Ibiza.

3. AVICII:
$28 MILLION (TIE)

This 24-year-old Swede’s hit single ‘Wake Me Up’ became the first electronic song to move more than 4 million units in the US.

3. TIESTO:
$28 MILLION (TIE)

The Dutch DJ played over 100 shows in the past year, and in the last 24 months, only Harris has earned more.

5. STEVE AOKI:
$23 MILLION

Benihana founder’s son has a volume business: His 277 shows in the past year are almost double the total of anyone on our list.

6. AFROJACK:
$22 MILLION

Released long-anticipated first studio album, Forget the World, in May, but playing nearly 150 shows accounted for the bulk of his bucks.

7. ZEDD:
$21 MILLION

The 24-year-old protégé of Skrillex is now outearning his mentor, thanks to producing hits for Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.

8. KASKADE:
$17 MILLION

The clean-cut father of three played more than 120 dates last year, including some 30 shows in Las Vegas.

9. SKRILLEX:
$16.5 MILLION

Released new album, Recess, but doesn’t need record sales to padcoffers: He earns big from live shows and from his own label.

10. DEADMAU5:
$16 MILLION

Played one-tenth the number of shows of some of the higher-ranked names on this list, but they were lucrative ones.

(This story appears in the 19 September, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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