Spinning tunes has proven to be very profitable for some of EDM’s biggest names this year. Forbes magazine has just released its annual list of the highest-paid DJs in the world, ranking music’s best party starters based on the income gained during the scoring period of June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015.
Several high-profile DJs, like Avicii, Kaskade, Zedd, and Afrojack made the publication’s top 10, but which popular artists commanded the biggest paychecks of them all? Here’s a look at the five highest-paid DJs in 2015:
4. Steve Aoki (tied)
Income: $24 Million
Aoki performed a whopping 216 shows, from June 1 of last year to June 1 of this year. Though that’s fewer than the amount of shows he played in 2014, he still managed to rake in $1 million more than last year, largely because of his huge popularity in key areas like Latin America. Adding to his profits? Aoki has a minority stake in a headphone company, has invested in several restaurants and owns his own record label. He also has endorsement deals with Scion, Guitar Center, and Bud Light.
4. Skrillex (tied)
Income: $24 Million
The last year has proven to be the most profitable of Skrillex’s career, with the superstar DJ pulling in a total of $24 million. What does he owe his substantial paycheck to? The artist has played more than 95 shows during the year and also released an album with fellow electronic star Diplo under the name Jack Ü. The record topped the U.S. dance charts, tying him for fourth place on Forbes’ ranking of the highest-paid DJs.
Income: $36 million
With sky-high fees and a tireless work ethic, Tiesto continues to earn big – bigger than many of his younger successors. The Dutch DJ has played over 100 dates around the world in the period between last June and this June, helping him bring in a sizable paycheck of $36 million. Also adding to his hefty payday? His endorsement deals with companies like Guess and 7UP.
2. David Guetta
Income: $37 million
The French DJ and producer (pictured left, with fellow DJ Calvin Harris), maintained his weekly residency in Ibiza this year, in addition to playing dozens of shows in Las Vegas. He remains hugely popular in Europe and other overseas markets as he does stateside, as seen by his turn as a headliner at this year’s Coachella. Guetta earned a whopping $37 million this year, thanks to his regular gigs, as well as his in-demand efforts as a producer to major pop artists like Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj.
1. Calvin Harris
Income: $66 million
Harris has had a pretty big year. In addition to playing his regular club and festival gigs, the DJ became a new headline fixture, thanks to his relationship with Taylor Swift, and also signed a seven-figure endorsement deal for Giorgio Armani’s men’s underwear line. Last fall, the artist – who produces, writes and performs his own tracks, released a collaboration with Gwen Stefani and Big Sean, “Motion.” Between his rising fees, his endorsements, and his own music releases, Harris brought in a total of $66 million over the last year.
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