2016 Top 12 Highest Earning DJs
While Forbes estimates the amount of cash earned by the 12 DJs is down 1%. The top 12 still grossed over £220m ($270m), which is pretty specular in any currency!
The main sources of income are live performances, merch and endorsements. Let’s dive into to the top 12.
Income: £11.6m ($14.5 million)
Having retired from the scene the year at only 26. Avicii continues to create new music and keeps banking lucrative endorsement deals with the likes of Volvo and Ralph Lauren.
Income: £12m ($15 million)
With more than 50 performances, Afrojack cashes in big while crossing the globe. Adding to this live income is a number of licensing deals and non-musical ventures like his fashion collection with G-Star Raw.
#10 Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Income: £12.4m ($15.5 million)
The only brothers on the list. While better known in Europe, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike are quickly making a name for themselves across the globe with appearances at major festivals and high profile events. Each performance brings in a six-figure payday.
#9 Martin Garrix
Income: £12.8m ($16 million)
Sharing the same manager as Justin Bieber, 20 year old Martin Garrix is the youngest on the list. In addition to a relentless touring schedule, he is endorsed by Tag Heuer.
Income: £15.2m ($19 million)
Hot off a sold out 20,000 person show at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the father of three show few signs of slowing down. The 45 year old spends more than 9 months of the year touring the globe.
Income: £16m ($20 million)
Widely known for his numerous collaborations including 5 tracks on Justin Bieber’s album Purpose. Sonny Moore aka Skrillex makes most of his cash from live performances by himself and with listmate Diplo as Jack Ü.
Income: £18.4m ($23 million)
Known by his stage name Diplo, Thomas Pentz earns cash touring the globe both solo and, as part of Major Lazer and Jack Ü. His act Major Lazer, made history as the first major EDM group to perform in Cuba since the diplomatic ties were restored. 2015 was also a great year for Diplo with over 800 million Spotify streams of summer smash “Lean On”, which he co-wrote.
#5 Steve Aoki
Income: £18.8m ($23.5 million)
Often called the hardest working EDM performer in the business, Steve Aoki notched up 198 shows as well as getting married and having vocal cord surgery. If that wasn’t enough, away from his relentless touring schedule, Aoki scored parts of The Angry Birds Movie.
Income: £19.9m ($24.5 million)
The Russia-born, Germany-raised Zedd, is another DJ known for his chart topping collaborations. His impressive income is thanks to a number of performances in clubs and at festivals. He’s also teamed up with well known US music store chain, Guitar Center in the hope of finding EDM’s next superstar.
#3 David Guetta
Income: £22.4m ($28 million)
Holding strong in third, David Guetta is one of the industry top earns thanks in part to his residency at the Wynn in Las Vegas. Guetta, also created the theme tune for Euro 2016 football tournament, which was held in France, his home country.
Income: £30.4m ($38 million)
With over 100 performances last year Tiësto demands a six figure fee per gig, whether playing Vegas or Vietnam. A side from touring, the Dutch DJ penned an estimated 7 figure contract for a 7UP ad campaign.
#1 Calvin Harris
Income: £50.4m ($63 million)
While Calvin has come a long way from stacking shelves and may no long be with Taylor Swift, he continues to demand high performance fees. Notably, Harris is the highest paid DJ act in Las Vegas, thanks to a lucrative residency.