The electronic music scene has been around for decades, but it hadn’t achieved mainstream prominence until the late 1990’s. Since then, many DJs have made a name for themselves creating and playing electronic music for the masses. Not only have they made music during the primetime of electronic music, but they’ve made themselves millionaires too.
10. Deadmau5 – $53 million
Canadian DJ deadmau5 is recognized for his trademark Mickey-Mouse like hat he wears during live shows. He earned his title after finding a dead mouse in his computer, and shorted his username online from “Deadmouse” to “Deadmau5” since the former was too long to use in his chatroom.
Deadmau5 created his own record label in 2007, Mau5trap records. He released a collaboration with Chicago DJ and producer Kaskade on the single “I Remember”, and also released his first breakthrough album, Random Album Title.
He currently owns a massive $5 million dollar mansion in Ontario. He also has a love for music production gear from cheap to expensive, and often posts videos of him using it to create tracks on social media. He owns several supercars, including a Mclaren painted with a Space Invaders theme. Deadmau5 is also an animal lover, and is currently housing a family of chickens in his mansion.
9. Steve Aoki – $55 million
Miami-born DJ Steven Hiroyuki Aoki has a very famous family. He is one of three children born to Japanese-American pro wrestler Rocky Aoki, who also founded Japanese restaurant chain Benihana. His sister, Devon, is an actress and model. Aoki himself created his own record label in his early twenties, which fueled his wealth at an early age.
Aoki has released multiple studio albums that have gained international recognition. He is also earns the most out of any DJ for touring. He is a dedicated philanthropist, and donates much of his wealth to charity. He owns the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund.
8. Armin Van Buuren – $55 million
DJing was initially only a hobby for Armin Van Buuren, which he practiced on the side while studying for law school. He put his degree on hold after his career as a DJ started to take flight. He reached the number one spot of the world’s most popular DJs from 2007 to 2010.
Van Buuren is known as a pioneer of the trance genre, as well as for his massive compositions – some which last nearly 7 hours! He also hosts a weekly radio show, A State of Trance, which has over 25 million weekly listeners in 26 countries. It is named after his first album, The State of Trance, which sold over 10,000 copies on its first week.
The bulk of Van Buuren’s wealth comes from albums and merchandise. He also earns a massive amount of money for each of his live shows. He also earns money from sponsorships and product endorsements.
Little is known about his material wealth, except that he lives with his family in Leiden, Netherlands, He also owns several Jaguar cars, a company which he is endorsed by. He is also often sighted wearing the latest luxury fashion.
7. Paul Van Dyk – $60 million
Paul Van Dyk is considered by many to be a pioneer of DJs, being one of the first to achieve the status as an international, award-winning superstar DJ. He grew up in East Germany, and gained much of his musical education from listening to the radio. After the
fall of the Berlin Wall, Van Dyk moved to Berlin, where he became interested in the local clubbing scene.
His most groundbreaking album, In Between, was released on August 14th, 2007. It skyrocketed to number 2 on billboard’s top electronic albums. Van Dyk has also worked with video game developer EA to create soundtracks for several popular games like Mirror’s Edge and The Dark Knight.
6. David Guetta – $60 million
French DJ David Guetta started his DJ career when he discovered house music, and shortly began to play in a local Paris club afterwards. Within a year, he was hosting local club nights and collaborating with Paris electronic musicians. He reached international stardom in 2009 upon his release of his fourth studio album, One Love, which topped the charts in 17 countries.
Both of David Guetta’s impressive DJ and production skills have earned him multiple best DJ awards as well as two Grammys. He has sold over 6 million albums and 15 million singles worldwide. On average, he makes nearly $250,000 per show!
Guetta owns a massive luxury home in Los Angeles, equipped with a gym, salon, spa, and a private lake. He has said himself he is not a car man, but loves to drive his $150,000 Audi R8. He also flies his own twin engine Cessna CJ3.
5. Paul Oakenfold – $65 million
This British DJ didn’t always see himself becoming a DJ – infact, he initially wanted to be a chef! However, that changed when Oakenfold was 21. He moved to a flat in Manhattan close to Studio 54, a popular nightclub that was then a hotspot for the rich and famous. Oakenfold frequented the club and gained many industry connections which led to his career as a music producer which began in 1985.
He has used his massive earning to buy many luxurious private homes in the Hollywood Hills, where he lives with his wife and kids.
4. Daft Punk – $70 million each
French DJs Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo and Thomas Bangalter founded legendary house duo Daft Punk in 1993, and have been constantly topping the charts since their inception. The pair met in secondary school in Paris, and quickly became good friends.
The pair are notoriously private, never seen without their signature masks in public. In fact, the only picture of them unmasked dates back to the mid 90’s! That being said, little knowledge exists of their material wealth, but the total of 140 million the pair have amassed this year is quite incredible on its own.
3. Avicii – $75 million
Swedish DJ Avicii had an early breakthrough at age 18, releasing the single “Seek Bromance” in 2010. The single reached the top 20 in countries including France, The Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and of course, his home country Sweden. The single’s success earned him a record deal with EMI Europe.
Avicii released several other singles with prolific artists that raised his popularity, and he became so high in demand that he was making half a million per show. He released his most popular song, “Levels” in 2011, noted for its sampling of 1962 hit “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” by Etta James. The song reached top ten throughout Europe and the USA.
After his success, the Dj relocated from Stockholm, Sweden to the Hollywood Hills in a modern 15.5 million dollar mansion.
2. DJ Tiesto – $105 million
Even if you’re not familiar with the world of electronic music, you have to be familiar with DJ Tiesto. He’s an absolute legend in the DJ world and beyond, having created music with prolific musicians from all over. He is also a very skilled producer.
Over the course of his career, the Dutch DJ has released five albums. His third album, Elements of Life, even received a Grammy Nomination.
Tiesto also earns almost 30 million per year just from licensing, merchandise, sales, and touring.
1. Calvin Harris – 110 million
Until recently, DJ Tiesto was considered the king of DJs, and was the highest paid as well. But Scottish DJ, producer, and singer-songwriter Calvin Harris has dethroned the former king of DJs.
In 2012, Harris had a net worth of 13 million, considerable wealth that still paled in comparison to that of more prominent DJs at the time. However, in just three years, Harris skyrocketed to the top. From 2012 to 2013, he earned 40 million. From 2013 to 2014, he earned a staggering 60 million. Then between 2014 and 2015, he earned 66 million. That’s 166 million dollars over three years!
Harris worked incredibly hard to amass this fortune, playing nearly 125 live shows from 2014 to 2015. He also created new singles left and right, almost of all of them blasting to the top of the charts right after being released.
Harris also has a contract with the second highest grossing nightclub in the world, Hakkasan in Las Vegas, which earns him 15 million per year. He also lives in a 15 million dollar mansion in Beverly Hills, California.