Forbes just dropped it’s annual “The World’s Highest-Paid DJs” article for 2017, and the sums of money made on the list will either inspire you or ruin your day.
10. Zedd – $19 million
After releasing two hit singles this year, one being “Stay” with Alessia Cara and the other being “Get Low” with Liam Payne, Zedd struck gold by signing a residency with Las Vegas’ Omnia Nightclub. On top of this, Zedd has been tremendously active with festival stops and his wildly successful Echo tour.
9. Martin Garrix – 19.5 million
In the midst of the biggest year of his career thus far, Garrix’s position doesn’t really come as a surprise. Barely old enough to drink, Garrix also signed numerous Vegas residency deals. This year’s “There For You” with Troye Sivian, and “Scared To Be Lonely” with Dua Lipa didn’t hurt, either.
8. Marshmello – $21 million
It feels like just yesterday that Marshmello called Skrillex in the middle of his interview with Katie Couric. As a first-timer on the list, Marshmello has made his millions after touring for pretty much this entire year.
7. David Guetta – $25 million
Though we haven’t heard too much about the EDM pioneer this year, Guetta has solidified his spot on the chart playing all over Vegas and Ibiza. As a veteran to the highest-paid DJ chart, of course he makes the list. “2U,” his recent collaboration with Justin Bieber, can be heard here.
6. Diplo – $28.5 million
Surprise, surprise! With the Know No Better EP reaching chart heights, a massive tour schedule, tons of press coverage, and being just about everywhere, Diplo takes sixth place. Billboard credits this to his having “helped spread the gospel of tropical house,” but running Mad Decent and earning over six figures a night sure does seem profitable too.
5. Steve Aoki – $29.5 million
Steve Aoki makes the list by continuing to do what he does best: perform. He’s played over 200 times in the past year, often multiple times a day. He’s been endorsed by T-Mobile, Japan’s ANA airline, and Luc Belaire wine. Hard work truly, truly pays off.
4. Skrillex – $30 million
Even though his Justin Bieber collab “Sorry” came out in 2015, it’s still a huge deal. The video has ramped up over 2.7 billion plays on YouTube alone. Again, that’s 2.7 billion. He just played a killer Dog Blood set with Boys Noize at HARD SUMMER and his performances at XS Nightclub at Encore Las Vegas must help, too.
3. The Chainsmokers – $38 million
Last year, the Syracuse/NYU alumni-turned-superstar DJs weren’t even on the list. This year, they take third place, splitting 38 million. Though it’s crazy, it was also inevitable. After all, the two are in the middle of a world tour, Vegas residencies, and have some of the most massive hits of the decade on their resume.
2. Tiesto – $39 million
The man, the myth, the highest-paid DJs list veteran himself, Tiesto takes home second place this year. Believe it or not, he’s 48, and he’s still dominating. He’s played 134 gigs this year, all of which make far above six figures. As Tiesto is pretty much synonymous with EDM, this was pretty much expected.
1. Calvin Harris – $48.5 million
Is there a single person on the planet who has had a better year than Calvin Harris? He plays at the most lucrative venues all over Vegas, he headlines festivals for over seven figures, and he just came out with what is arguably the best album of the year. Just over a decade ago, Harris was an employee at a grocery store in Scotland, living in his parents’ basement. If that doesn’t inspire you, what will?