FORBES has just announced their compilation of the world’s highest-paid DJs for 2015. Calvin Harris is not only topping charts with his music, but also with his paychecks. Calvin Harris grossed $66 million in the last year, and it probably doesn’t hurt that he he has pop superstar Taylor Swift by his side, making them the new power couple in the music industry.

“The rise of dance music has been astronomical … I happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Harris told FORBES.

Coming in at No. 2 on the list is none other than David Guetta, who has recently worked with Nicki Minaj on the hit track earlier this year, “Hey Mama,” and has sold over 9 million albums worldwide. David Guetta made $37 million last year, almost half as less as Harris’, but still impressive.

Unsurprisingly, Tiesto came in third, having continued to push the boundaries on electronic dance music since he entered the scene over two decades ago in 1994. Tiesto has produced six studio albums, and on his downtime when he isn’t on tour, you can find him on his Club Life video podcast, which he has been running since 2007.

Skrillex and Steve Aoki tied for the fourth and fifth spots as the both made around $24 million each last year. Steve Aoki has been on tour recently trying to showcase his new tunes, connecting with fans all across the world. Skrillex is also getting geared up for his Asia tour this fall which will make stops in cities such as Bangladesh, Bali, and New Delhi. Both of these hard-working producers also happen to run of their own record labels in Los Angeles; Steve Aoki founded Dim Mak and Skrillex with OWSLA.

Steve Aoki told FORBES, “At the end of the day, I want to have as much flexibility as possible on the economic side … When we think about how to maintain and sustain the culture, we ultimately make more money.”

In the last year alone, the top 10 highest-paid DJs made a total of $274 million, which is more than double the numbers of the top 10 in 2012. The performers that seem to make the most money are the artists who put more effort and cash into their stage production. Making a bigger, better show is always the goal.

“The cost that comes with taking responsibility for your appearance, and for your shows, and for your company. It’s a whole different level,” Afrojack said. Afrojack has collaborated with huge names such as Rihanna and comes in at No. 10 on the FORBES list, raking in a cool $16 million, just behind Avicii at No. 7 with $19 million and Zedd and Martin Garrix at the No. 8 with $17 million.

This FORBES list unfortunately does not feature any females, but the electronic dance scene is so competitive, the only ladies who come close are sassy sister duos Krewella and NERVO.

See the full list of FORBES’ Electronic Cash Kings below.

1. Calvin Harris, $66 million
2. David Guetta, $37 million
3. Tiesto, $36 million
4. (Tie) Skrillex & Steve Aoki, $24 million
6. Avicii, $19 million
7. Kaskade, $18 million
8. (Tie) Martin Garrix & Zedd, $17 million
10. Afrojack, $16 million
11. (Tie) Deadmau5, Diplo $15 million


Performers Mentioned In This Article