How Much? I Cannot Believe What These DJs Got Paid Last Year Just For Playing Records!

For those who do not know me I love dance music and electronica or as it is known these days as EDM. EDM covers a broad spectrum of electronic dance music and it seems that is as big as it has ever been.

Personally I think it isn’t the mid-1990s were the days of the superstar DJ however what has changed is the price tag. There were loads of top DJs playing in clubs around the world and many of them were producing their own tunes but some of the newer bigger DJs are now having huge chart success making them more than DJs but performers on par with bands like the Black Eyed Peas and Lady GaGa.

This list has been compiled of the biggest DJs and the money they raked in over the last year with their global performances.

10. Avicii—$7 Million

Avicii is a 22 year old from Sweden who DJs worldwide using only … ‘a thumb drive and a good set of head phones.’ He was a Grammy nominee this year for Best Dance Single and was one of the featured performers at this year’s Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.


9. Afrojack—$9 Million

Afrojack is a former boyfriend of the well know blonde waste of space we call Paris Hilton. Coming from Holland this superstar DJ is also a music producer who was featured on the number one single “Give Me Everything” by Pitbull. He has also contributed to the god awful song “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé. He owns and runs the record label Wall Recordings which has several big Dutch DJs signed to it, with himself being one of them.

I wonder if he spent long trying to convince himself to sign to his own label?


8. Kaskade—$10 Million

Kaskade is known to his family and friends as 41 Ryan Raddon from Illinois. His rise to fame came during the revival of American progressive house in the late 2008-2009 alongside Deadmau5 and Wolfgang.

According to Forbes Kaskade performed 125 shows over the last year netting him $10 Million. Not bad work if you can get it!


7. DJ Pauly D—$11 Million

I am not a fan of reality TV stars but DJ Pauly D (Great name!) of ‘Jersey Shore’ fame can be paid an average fee of $40,000 for a club performance or private party. He has opened for Britney Spears on her recent Femme Fatale tour.

Pauly D gets a nice cheque from MTV as well as earnings from several business ventures including a clothing line called Dirty Couture, Pauly D Bronze Beats tanning lotion (Really? Yes I kid you not) and he has a drink out with a Grey Goose cofounder called REMIX Pre- Game Cocktails and a spin off TV Show called ‘The Pauly D Project. (I shall be missing that one!)


6. Deadmau5—$11.5 Million

OK this guy I like, I love his tunes and his mixes. Deadmou5 (pronounced Dead Mouse) is a very talented Canadian from Toronto who likes to DJ wearing a large Mickey Mouse style head. Joel Thomas Zimmerman is a 31-year-old electro-house music producer, DJ, and performer and was the best-selling artist on Beatport with more than 30,000 digital downloads of his singles “Not Exactly,” “Faxing Berlin,” and “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff.” The guy deserves his $11.5 Million.


5. Steve Aoki—$12 Million

Aoki is a very busy chap, he earns less per gig than the others on this list but he generally performs more working on average 200 days of the year. Aoki is a 34 year old American electro house musician, DJ and producer who owns and runs his own record label Dim Mak Records.

He also co owns a management company with the late DJ AM (I guess he owns now rather than co owns!) called Deckstar with bands like Blink 182, Rancid and Holy Ghost on their books.

Aoki has notched up an impressive $12 Million last year but he doesn’t really need the money as he is the heir to the Benihana fortune. His father who was once a former Japanese wrestler founded the popular restaurant chain.


4. David Guetta—$13.5 Million

Love or hate him (I do both) the cheeky chappie from France who had chart success by basically taking other people’s music and errr hmmm added it to another person’s music generates a lot of his money by playing at many festivals around the world. David Guetta is also a male model who has his own fashion label with his wife called ‘F**k Me I’m Famouse.’

He has been given sponsorship and endorsements by HP to showcase their TouchPad and has appeared in TV adverts, magazine and billboard adverts. The partnership deal was great for the TouchPad as his videos are generally seen on YouTube around 100 million times. I guess people would rather not buy his music 😉

He has gone on to work with rap and R&B artists like Nicki Minaj, Akon, Usher and many more. It seems that he has the midas touch, I am certain if you shoved a lump of coal up David Guetta’s arse he would shoot out a diamond!


3. Swedish House Mafia—$14 Million

Another Swedish entry are the wonderful world famous Swedish House Mafia. These producers, remixers, DJs all have their own careers but also perform as a DJ Trio and were the first electronic dance act to front the Madison Square Garden bash.

People will pay hundreds of dollars for tickets to their shows, why? Wait a few days and it will be on YouTube for free! A CD mix is pretty cheap too! Showing my age now, yes I no longer go clubbing, I am a home based raver. Anyway I jest, I love the music from these guys and they deserve their respectful earnings of $14 Million.


2. Skrillex—$15 Million

What can you say about Skrillex? At first I thought he was English as he was heavily involved in taking ‘Dubstep’, which originated in South London, to the rest of the world. But Skrillex is in fact a 24 year old DJ from California and has already notched up 3 Grammy awards for his work.

Originally Skrillex was involved in rock bands but he was making his own dance music at the same time. His dance music gained popularity and in December 2011 he was named as MTV’s Electronic Dance Music Artist of the Year. Last year he earned a cool $15 Million from his performances.

Skrillex In Concert - Las Vegas, NV

1. Tiësto—$22 Million

At number one is another Dutch superstar DJ, Tiësto is said to pull in an incredible $250,000 per night playing around the world. The Dutch have been very big in the trance world and Tiësto is the biggest name around.

At 43 he owns his own record label called Black Hole Recordings and had the honour of being the first ever DJ to perform at one of the opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics. In 2004 he took to the stage and performed in front of the crowd in Athens Greece the historical home of the Olympics.


Well there you have it, no Paul Oakenfold, no Paul Van Dyke, no Ferry Corsten (Tiësto’s best mate), no Judge Jules, no Slipmatt or Billy Bunter but still a list of great DJs. Their music and mixing may not be the best but these guys pull in the crowds and they get paid handsomely for it.

To play us out here is a cracking mix set by Tiësto the number one in this list. Record for the BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix.

Tiësto on BBC Radio1 Essential Mix (01-02-2014)

[youtube id=”msH4SfUYE9s” width=”620″ height=”360″]

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Source: RichListGroup

Featured Image Source: The Guardian

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