Every year since 2012, business bible Forbes has published its Electronic Cash Kings list, counting down the highest-paid DJs in dance music. When the list first launched, EDM was booming business in the US, earning DJs mainstream media attention they never had before. Now, as Steve Aoki puts it, “the bubble has already burst in America” – but hey, superstar DJs are still earning stupid money.
The 2016 Electronic Cash Kings list includes the usual suspects from years past and a few notable omissions. Leading the way in the top spot is radio hitmaker Calvin Harris, who according to Forbes earns a whole lot more annually ($63 million!) than his big-name peers. He’s followed not so closely by main stage regulars Tiësto, David Guetta, Zedd and Steve Aoki to round out the top five.
With Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike sneaking in at No. 10 and Avicii rounding out the list with a cool $14.5 million, there’s no sign of Armin van Buuren, Deadmau5, Hardwell or any former Swedish House Mafia member. (Maybe Calvin can swing them some spare change?)
Forbes estimates “earnings from live shows, merch, endorsements, recorded music and outside business ventures” to come up with its pretax figures. The numbers you see in the list below are calculated from June 2015 to June 2016. Check out the list below and read the full report on the Forbes website.
Forbes’ Electronic Cash Kings 2016 list:
1. Calvin Harris ($63 million)
2. Tiësto ($38 million)
3. David Guetta ($28 million)
4. Zedd ($24.5 million)
5. Steve Aoki ($23.5 million)
6. Diplo ($23 million)
7. Skrillex ($20 million)
8. Kaskade ($19 million)
9. Martin Garrix ($16 million)
10. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike ($15.5 million)
11. Afrojack ($15 million)
12. Avicii ($14.5 million)
Article photo by Rukes.