10 highest paid djs
In The World

By Abijah Keru on March 20 2014

Once considered an expensive hobby, the DJ world has in the last decade become the career du jour. Some of the top names in the industry were unknown as little as 2 years ago. For the fortunate few on this list, the jet set, globetrotting, and big bucks is an everyday reality. Below is a list of 10 DJ’S who are making a kill in the world of beats.

1. Calvin Harris

Once a grocery bagger in his native Scotland, Calvin Harris seems to exemplify overnight success. His work got him noticed by the likes of Rihanna, and he eventually earned the gig of a lifetime with the world famous Hakkasan club in Las Vegas. His many endeavours made him a cool $46 million in 2013.

2. Tiesto

He is the incumbent king of all things electronic music. Tiesto continues to be an industry powerhouse despite being beaten out by Calvin Harris last year. The Dutch DJ also made a lucrative deal with club Hakkasan putting him at number 2 with a whopping $32 million.

3. David Guetta

We can’t call him a workaholic, but does this famous producer ever rest? In 2012, he played in over 120 venues worldwide not to mention his various collaborations with artists such as the Black Eyed Peas and Usher. Coupled with his residency deal in Ibiza, Guetta netted $30 million in 2013.

4. Swedish House Mafia

Having since parted ways, the terrific trio of electronic namely Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell and Steve Angello still managed the top 5 billing for 2013, with earnings of $25 million prior to their split.

5. Deadmau5

Well known for his spectacular and high-energy shows, the Canadian based DJ and producer commands an average appearance fee of over $200,000. Add to that his album sales and production work, $21 million is the figure for his yearly earning.

6. Avicii

While missing out on the top 5 slots, Tim Berg as he’s also known, is no doubt the youngest DJ to realize such superstar status. With over 1.7 million downloads of his lead single “wake me up”, it’s not hard to see why he thinks he might be dreaming. He netted $20 million in 2013 alone.

7. Afrojack

Another young talent who is quickly developing a reputation for his love of the jet set lifestyle. He bought a $1 million super car, wrecked it then replaced it with a similar one in under 24hrs! He can afford it though, being a producer for the likes of Chris Brown and Pitbull, while also being the signature DJ at Wynn Las Vegas. He made a cool $18 million last year. 

8. Armin van Buuren

One of the few DJ’s with their own radio show, and having the market pretty much cornered in the Trance genre, van Buuren stands apart from the rest. 5 albums under the belt including “intense” from May 2013, means he earned an impressive $17 million in 2013.

9. Skrillex

Love him or hate him for his strange look and even stranger sound, this dubstep DJ/producer has made a name for himself. He wrote original music for the animated feature film “wreck it Ralph”, bagging him an Annie award. Skrillex also headlines at Wynn’s XS nightclub in Las Vegas for a 6-figure sum per night, which put him at $16 million in earnings in 2013.

10. Kaskade

A seasoned professional in the industry, the 42 year old managed 130 shows in 2013. One of the first to settle in Las Vegas, he performs regularly at the Cosmopolitan club bringing his total revenue to just under $16 million.

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Abijah is a journalism student who has a great passion for writing. She enjoys penning down her thoughts and sharing them with the world.

"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

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