Yesterday, Forbes released their second annual list of the world's highest-paid DJs. Consisting of thirteen EDM heavyweights, all of whom pulled down at least $13 million in the last year, this astonishing list provides concrete evidence of electronic music's skyrocketing popularity. "This genre has become a force to be reckoned with," says Forbes' Zach Greenburg, citing larger festivals, increased tour dates, and Las Vegas' newfound interest in EDM as catalysts for this veritable money storm.
Last year's winner, the Dutch DJ Tiësto, upped his annual income from $22 million to $32 million, but that increase was not enough to top Calvin Harris' whopping $46 million. The Scottish DJ, who did not make last year's list, earned more in the last twelve months than Jay Z, Kanye West, or Katy Perry, according to Greenburg. Harris was helped in part by his production work for LMFAO and Rihanna, most notably thanks to the latter's "We Found Love," which topped music charts in 25 countries.
Forbes notes that the combined earnings of the DJs on their list-- $268 Million-- is "more than the combined gross domestic product of island nations Kiribati and Tuvalu." For anyone still wondering why a business magazine is covering "rave music," the fact that a single genre of music is out-earning entire nations of people should be enough to answer your question.
View the rest of the list below, and then contemplate quitting your day job.
1. Calvin Harris - $46 M
2. Tiësto - $32 M
3. David Guetta - $30 M
4. Swedish House Mafia - $25 M
5. Deadmau5 - $21 M
6. Avicii - $20 M
7. Afrojack - $18 M
8. Armin Van Buuren $17 M
9. (tie) Kaskade & Skrillex $16 M
11. Steve Aoki - $14 M
12. (tie) Diplo & Pauly D - $13 M