By: Carolina de Busto
It's been a few years since EDM became big business. But the bubble hasn't burst. And those folks who wear bulky headsets and press play (i.e. celebrity DJs) are still laughing all the way to the bank.
The giddiest jock is once again Calvin Harris. The scruffy-faced Scotsman topped Forbes' list of the highest-paid DJs of 2013 with a total of $46 million. One year later, Harris is raking in a staggering $66 million. But the second highest-earner collected a mere $30 million. And Avicii only made $28 million. Pshhh, pocket change.
Check the cut for the 13 richest DJs of 2014.
12. Steve Angello: $12 Million Per Year (Tie) Looks like Angello is doing well on his own without his mafia. The former Swedish House Mafia member bills six-figures for solo club gigs, so don't hold your breath for a reunion.
12. Armin van Buuren: $12 Million Per Year (Tie) Age is just a number for the 37-year-old Dutch DJ, and apparently 12 is his lucky number this year.
11. Hardwell: $13 Million Per Year Hardwell was voted the number one disc-spinner by fans in the DJ Magazine top 100 poll for 2014. He may hold the number one spot in the hearts of EDM fans all over the world, but his wallet certainly doesn't. Stay strong, Hardwell, there's still time to earn another $53 million before 2015.
10. Deadmau5: $16 Million Per Year Forbes reports that this dead mouse DJ "barely played one-tenth the amount of shows" that his fellow top DJs did, but some music festivals out there are still paying him the beaucoup bucks to perform. Cough, Ultra 2014, anyone?
9. Skrillex: $16.5 Million Per Year You'd think that with all that dough rolling in, Skrillex could afford a decent haircut. Or shampoo. Or both. The little hipster DJ is up a whole half-mil from last year, so that seems celebration enough for a shower. Yay!
8. Kaskade: $17 Million Per Year The man behind the EDM persona, Ryan Raddon, has been nominated for a Grammy, so that makes him legit. Too legit to quit. And we don't think he intends to.
7. Zedd: $21 Million Per Year This kid is still just, well, a kid. At 24-years-young, he's already out-earning his mentor, Skrillex (probably because Zedd showers more frequently), and collaborating with big names such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and the baby-faced Ariana Grande.
6. Afrojack: $22 Million Per Year This afro-less spinner is not only making is mula from his residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas, but his pretty endorsement deals with Nike and G-Star RAW reel in a pretty penny.
5. Steve Aoki: $23 Million Per Year Despite earning a spot on our "EDM's Five Biggest Hacks" list, some people still take this guy serious and are throwing some serious cash flow his way. Need we remind you how he got started as a DJ? Paraphrasing from an interview we had with the Benihana heir in 2010, he said, "I was throwing Dim Mak parties, and I saw that the DJ was getting all the attention, and I was like, 'This is my party. I should be getting the attention.' So I started DJ-ing."
3. Tiesto: $28 Million Per Year (Tie) Oof, 2014 wasn't as nice to Tiesto as 2013 was. He's down from his $32 million pay year. Could things be looking a little testy for Tiesto? (We're not ashamed of our pun. We think it's punny).
3. Avicii: $28 Million Per Year (Tie) Avicii is proof the Swedes produce some hardcore EDM disc jockeys, and it's clear we're not the only ones "addicted" to him. Is there such thing as an EDM-heartthrob? Because this little sugar would surely top that list.
2. David Guetta: $30 Million Per Year Did someone say "hack"? Oh, wait. We did.
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1. Calvin Harris: $66 Million Per Year That's two years in a row he's crowned the Electronic Cash King. This guy seems to be doing something right.