Relentless Beats

Forbes Lists Highest Paid DJs

One of the most (if not THE most) lucrative music genre in an otherwise sliding industry, electronic dance music is providing some of the top DJs with pretty cushy lifestyles do to the sheer demand for electronic shows, and, as a result, the massive amounts of money that club owners are willing to pay them.

Most “rich DJ” lists have Tiësto listed comfortably at the top. Yet, despite raking in about half a million a show at his Hakkasan residency, he was surpassed on this year’s Forbes Electronic Cash Kings list year by Calvin Harris. His collaborations with the likes of Rihanna and Pitbull no doubt helped him reach number 1 status.

Forbes numbers don’t mess around either, adding up “income from live shows, endorsements, merchandise sales, recorded music sales, external business ventures and television” (#12 DJ Pauly D, for instance).

Counting Down The World’s Highest-Paid DJs

Despite dropping in this year’s rankings, Tiësto received more money in his career since the boom of the EDM industry in America. Las Vegas plays a role in his American success.

“I think Las Vegas is really taking over from Ibiza this year,” says Tiësto. “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.”

DJ-ing brings in a pretty hefty cash flow for the best in the game, but so many questions remain about the future.

Will people tire of the genre? Will there be a bubble? Is that even possible for a type of music?

You know, what? Forget the questions. Let’s just continue to enjoy the Golden Age of electronic, whether it lasts 5 more years or 500.

The full Electronic Cash Kings list is below.

1. Calvin Harris: $46 million
2. Tiësto: $32 million
3. David Guetta: $30 million
4. Swedish House Mafia: $25 million (They still count, due to the cash they made on their ‘One Last Tour‘.)
5. deadmau5: $21 million
6. Avicii: $20 million
7. Afrojack: $18 million
8. Armin van Buuren: $17 million
9. Skrillex: $16 million
9. Kaskade: $16 million
11. Steve Aoki: $14 million
12. DJ Pauly D: $13 million
12. Diplo: $13 million

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