The big boys of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) are not only known for their live loud and colorful parties, but also for their music producing prowess which is hugely responsible for the success of most singers which simultaneously means their own success. Some of them are so popular that they also bank from shilling for top brands. As Forbes have so dubbed them, The Electronic Cash Kings between 1 June 2015 and 1 June 2016 earned a combined $270.5 million which is 1% less than what they raked in last year- the first time their earnings have dipped since Forbes began reporting their paychecks in 2012. Unsurprisingly, coming out top for the fourth consecutive time is Taylor Swift’s ex-boo Calvin Harris who although saw his earnings plunge by 3% still out earned his colleagues in the business. Without further ado, Here’s the complete list of the top 12 highest paid DJs 2016.
Earnings: $14.5 million
Avicii this year produced Coldplay’s single “Hymn for the Weekend”. He also collaborated with Coke to produce their global campaign anthem. Sadly, after just a decade of concert Deejaying, the 26 year old has hung up his headphones as a result of health issues. Nonetheless, the Swedish man would still be active in producing, his third studio album is imminent. He will also continue to shill for brands like Ralph Lauren and Volvo.
Earnings: $15 million
Wall Recordings CEO, raked his millions largely from the 50 shows he played at the time of Forbes’ evaluation. His fashion collaboration with G-Star Raw as well as his shilling endeavors for top brands help to bolster his show income.
10. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Earnings: $15.5 million
Belgian brothers are the only debutant on this years list. They made the cut thanks to the multiple festival shows they payed which grossed over six figures each. Their music ‘Melody’ is the official UEFA 2016 anthem of the Belgian National Football Team.
9. Martin Garrix
Earnings: $16 million
Dutch DJ parted ways with Spinning Records this year to found his very own STMPD RCRDS and ink a worldwide contract with Sony Entertainment. The 20 year old is currently working on his debut studio album. He made his debut live performance of his own music on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on August 22, 2016. The youngest DJ on the list made his millions from multiple shows and from his shilling duties for Tag Heuer.
Earnings: $19 million
Veteran, Kaskade revealed that Forbes always gets his numbers a bit lower than it actually is, however, he takes no offence stating that he’s always been the sneaky type. Majority of his millions come from his relentless efforts in touring. The 45 year old is a father to three kids.
Earnings: $20 million
Justin Bieber has Skrillex to thank for his single “Where Are Ü Now” which became his first ever number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 and also earned him his first ever Grammy award. Skrillex also produced four other tracks which are part of Bieber’s fourth and latest studio album “Purpose”. Skrillex also earned from numerous gigs including those he played as Jack U- a group that consists of himself and Diplo.
Earnings: $23 million
Diplodocus (derived from his love for dinosaurs) has since be producing for some of the world’s top music acts. Recently, he produced several tracks on Madonna‘s latest album Rebel Heart and two on Beyonce‘s Lemonade. His lead single “Lean On” from his “Peace Is the Mission” album became the most streamed song in the history of Spotify with over 800 million streams. In addition to Jack U, he also performs under the moniker Major Lazer.
5. Steve Aoki
Earnings: $23.5 million
In addition to touring tirelessly, Steve lends his voice to TV animated characters, including the upcoming 2017 animation “Charming”. His millions come from almost 200 shows he played throughout the evaluation period.
Earnings: $24.5 million
The Russian-German Grammy-winning DJ earned millions from his ongoing True Colors tour in support of his album of the same name. He also performed in the 2016 Coachella festival in California.
3. David Guetta
Earnings: $28 million
The French man’s song “This One’s for You” was chosen by UEFA as the Euro 2016 theme song. The two-time Grammy winner is making huge profits from his residency at Wynn, Las Vegas.
Earnings: $38 million
Dutch DJ Tiesto upped his earnings by $2 million thanks to the 6 figures each night from more than 100 shows. He received a 7 figure paycheck from 7 UP for a commercial advertisement. He launched AFTR:HRS, a deep house music label in April 2016.
1. Calvin Harris
Earnings: $63 million
Calvin and Taylor Swift would’ve again emerged the world’s highest paid celebrity couple, but their break up gave the tile to Jay Z and Beyonce. However, The Scottish DJ, snaps the highest paid DJ position for the fourth time and counting. Calvin receives not less than $400,000 paycheck for each gig at his Las Vegas club residency.