The World of entertainment has many examples of artists and performers who, if we’re really honest with ourselves, owe their success to self-promotion more than an incredible amount of talent, but no-one could ever accuse Daft Punk of resorting to such a tactic to achieve the incredible success they have enjoyed over the last two decades. The French electronic music duo, comprising of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo are almost fanatically private about their personal lives, and shun any attempts to get to know the musicians behind the masks.
Their desire for anonymity was inspired from an early age, when they loved the idea that Superman could wander about as Clark Kent without anyone recognizing him, and as their popularity began to rapidly grow in the 1990’s, they became ever more reluctant to lose that element of normality about their own daily lives. There can be no other artists who are so well-known, rich and successful today who can still walk among us and fail to be recognized by anyone. The pair have performed live to millions, and have received Worldwide praise and recognition for their innovative mix of electronic house, dance and disco, but they have largely managed to keep their personal lives firmly out of the public eye. But exactly how much money have the pair earned during their two decade long dominance of dance music? Read on to find out.
Daft Punk Net Worth 2018 – $70 Million (Each)
How Did Daft Punk Make Their Money & Wealth?
Guy-Manuel was born as Guillaume Emmanuel de Homen-Christo in Paris, France on February 8th 1974. His family was of Portuguese heritage and his grandfather was the noted Portuguese Fascist writer Francisco Manuel Homen Cristo. Thomas came from a more musical background, he was born on January 3rd 1975 and his father was a producer and songwriter who had worked with the French pop duo Ottowan and the French disco band The Gibson Brothers. Thomas began playing piano from six years old, and was strictly encouraged to keep his practice up, while Guy-Manuel played with keyboards and guitars from a young age before finally becoming more serious about learning the electric guitar as a teenager.
The pair met at the prestigious Lycee Carnot high school in Paris in 1987 and discovered a mutual admiration for music and films of the 1960’s and 70’s. Along with a friend Laurent Brancowitz, who later found fame with French rock group Phoenix, they formed an indie rock bank named ‘Darlin’. Both Guy-Manuel and Thomas played guitar but began to grow ever more interested in the electronic music genre that was starting to become hugely popular at the time. A less than complimentary review from Melody Maker of ‘Darlin’’ described the band as ‘daft punky thrash’, which inspired Guy-Manuel and Thomas in the name of their new band when they split with Laurent Brancowitz to form a new group focusing more on the electronic house genre.
The duo found their talents complimented each other perfectly, with Thomas more interested in the technical side and Guy-Manuel more critical of the creative output. The first exposure of their innovative sound was from a demo played at a rave in 1993, which was so well received the contents of the demo were released the following year as an instrumental single by Soma Recordings under the title ‘The New Wave’. In 1995 Daft Punk recorded ‘Da Funk’, which was released by Soma the same year and became the first commercially successful single for the duo.
With their popularity and exposure rapidly growing the pair found themselves virtually fighting off labels who wanted to sign them up, they found a manager and eventually signed a deal with Virgin Records in 1996. In those early days the duo were less concerned about privacy, and during their first public performance in the United States, at the ‘Even Further’ Event in Wisconsin they performed without the trademark helmets that they are never seen without today, but their fame and popularity exploded with the release of their debut album, ‘Homework’ in 1997. The album was called by one music magazine the ‘most hyped debut album for decades’, but the excitement surrounding Daft Punk’s appearance on the dance music scene was not misplaced. Critics heaped praise upon ‘Homework’, with the Village Voice crediting it with reviving House music. The Duo embarked on a tour, ‘Daftendirektour’, of Europe and The United States to promote the album and the reception was overwhelmingly positive from all quarters. Their performance at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles in September 1997 was later described as ‘magical and exceptionally brilliant’ by one critic.
On a personal note the first song I ever heard by Daft Punk was Homework’s most popular and well-received offering, the single ‘Around The World’, a tune that proves that if the beat is funky enough and the hook is catchy enough, you really don’t need more than three words in the lyrics. I first heard it in about 1999 and I couldn’t agree with that critic from Los Angeles more, it was a magical moment, and I too thought that Daft Punk were exceptionally brilliant.
In 2001 Daft Punk released their second studio album, ‘Discovery’, featuring a far slicker synthpop oriented sound. The vast difference between Homework and Discovery’s style amazed fans of their earlier work, but the album also won them millions of new fans, and was met with critical acclaim and huge international success commercially. The single ‘One More Time’ was a huge hit in clubs, but also introduced Daft Punk to a more mainstream audience. Follow up singles ‘Digital Love’ and ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ were equally popular in clubs and on the dance charts on both sides of the Atlantic, and ‘Face to Face’ topped the US club play chart. More than a decade later the timeless quality of Discovery is clear to see, the album has totalled sales of more than a million in both Europe and America and more than three million Worldwide. Elements of it have been sampled by top selling artists such as Kanye West, Wiley and Jazmine Sullivan and it has been celebrated by many in the industry for it’s genre defining originality. ‘One More Time’ reached the top ten in eight countries and remained the groups most successful single until ‘Get Lucky’ was released in 2013, more than a decade later.
‘Human After All’, Daft Punk’s third studio album was released in 2005 to mixed reviews. Once again Daft Punk had refused to settle into a familiar style and continued their exploration of new styles of the electronic dance genre. The album had been recorded in just six weeks and some reviews criticized the ‘hasty recording’ of it, but Guy-Manuel and Thomas were quick to strongly defend the album, insisting that it spoke for itself. They later released an album of remixes from ‘Human After All’ entitled ‘Human After All:Remixes’ and they embarked on a series of international tours for the next few years, touring extensively in America and Europe, as well as Australia and Japan, always to huge sold-out venues, and in 2007 they released a live album ‘Alive 2007’ featuring their performance in Paris from the tour of the same name.
Daft Punk are more than just hugely successful pioneers of dance music, in 2000 they produced ‘D.A.F.T.’, a video collection featuring six tracks from Homework and in 2003 they produced ‘Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem’, a full-length animated movie featuring the music of ‘Discovery’. Daft Punk also contributed heavily to the musical score of the 2010 sci-fi flick ‘Tron: Legacy’, eventually contributing 24 tracks to the film after collaborating with composer Joseph Trapanese for over two years in the studio. For their efforts they were also honored with a cameo role in the film as virtual DJ’s in the virtual World of Tron, and of course, they were still wearing those iconic helmets during the scene.
In 2013 Daft Punk released their fourth, and so far most celebrated studio album, ‘Random Access Memories’. Once again striking out in new and innovative directions Guy-Manuel and Thomas this time relied less on drum machines and synthesizers, instead opting for a more organic sound by recruiting session musicians to play live alongside their electronic wizardry. The album was by far the most successful and praised album of their career. It topped the album charts in more than 25 countries globally and was also their first album to lead the US Billboard 200 chart. It sold in excess of 300,000 copies in just the first week and Metacritic gave it a ranking of 87 out of 100, and the lead single ‘Get Lucky’ became one of the best-selling digital singles ever. In 2014 ‘Random Access Memories’ won two Grammy Awards, for Best Album of The Year and Best Engineered Album, and ‘Get Lucky’ took another two for Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance. The incredible variety of the musical styles on the album was summed up best by NME, who mused that every musical idea that had ever been conceived was crammed into the album somewhere.
Daft Punk have defined the genre of electronic dance music as it is known today, they’ve continually challenged that genre by re-inventing it every time they release another of their ground-breaking albums, and every time they’ve picked up millions of new fans that just can’t get enough of that truly original Daft Punk sound. And they’ve achieved all of that without ever once promoting themselves personally, instead letting their music do the talking for them. It’s that passion for their music, and their refusal to rest on their laurels and just make easy money by producing a predictable and comfortable album, that has made them one of the most influential groups of the last two decades, and earned the duo a fortune of $70 million apiece.
Daft Punk’s Personal Life & FAQ’s
Are Daft Punk Married?
Obviously, Daft Punk like their privacy, they have tried to not allow their faces to be photographed since 1996, but we do know a little about their private lives. Thomas married actress Elodie Bouchez, best known for her performances in the TV show Alias and for her starring role in the 1994 French Drama ‘Wild Reeds’. The couple have two sons.They have previously lived in Beverly Hills, California but now live in Paris, France. If Guy-Manuel is married or not is a matter of conjecture, in 2013 the duo agreed to a rare interview with GQ magazine, only their third in the previous ten years and the reporter overheard them talking about their children, noting that they both had two. And if it wasn’t for that slight mention of Guy-Manuel’s children we would know absolutely nothing about his private life at all, he really does avoid the limelight and just as he wishes, he really is the anonymous Clark Kent who becomes the Superman of the dance clubs when he puts that iconic helmet on.
What Do Daft Punk REALLY Look Like? – Daft Punk’s Awards, Recognition and Accomplishments
On the rare occasions when Daft Punk have agreed to be interviewed, it’s always Thomas who does the talking, and Guy-Manuel is as quiet as his public profile, but the duo really do not need to promote themselves and can enjoy that anonymity all the more due to the numerous awards and recognition their work has amassed during their incredible career. They’ve been nominated for and won multiple Grammy Awards, received official honors in their native France and become the iconic heroes of a generation. They’ve been honored with tributes from everyone from The Simpsons to Kanye West, but of course no-matter how private you want to be, in this day and age there are cameras literally everywhere, and the more you try to hide your face, the more some people are going to want to track you down. Daft Punk have not been entirely successful in remaining completely hidden from view but it would be fair to say that underneath the helmets they are virtually unrecognizable, and perhaps that’s for the best, because Daft Punk are the helmets, and underneath they’re just a couple of normal guys who just happen to be musical geniuses.