There's a new number one DJ in the world and he's keeping the crown in the Netherlands.
At age 25, Hardwell (real name Robbert van de Corput) has dethroned fellow countryman Armin van Buuren to take top honors in DJ Mag's 2013 Top 100 DJs Poll, making him the youngest person ever to hold the title. He held off stiff competition from van Buuren, who fell to second place this year and Avicii (a Swede), who came in third (flat), despite both of these other artists having released huge albums of original material in 2013. DJ Mag's annual poll is widely considered to be the electronic music industry's top honors.
"Wow, I've spent all my life dreaming of winning this award and now it has finally happened I’m completely speechless," Hardwell said upon learning of his historic win. "I have so many people I'd like to thank but none more so than the fans. They have been incredible; their support at my shows and with my music has been out of this world. You really are the best fans in the world. Thank you so much."
So what did Hardwell do to earn the top spot?
Fans vote on the poll and it's pretty clear that Hardwell has become a fan favorite in live sets at festivals around the world. His performance at the 2013 Miami Ultra Music Festival racked up a staggering six million views in just eight weeks and broke all records for the most watched Ultra live broadcast during UMF with more than 80,000 people watching his set via the feed. Meanwhile, his set at Tomorrowland amassed in excess of one million views in just a few days and has to-date been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube.
However, in what many acknowledge to be a very subjective poll, he also has a reputation as one of the nicest guys in the business, something Yahoo Music can attest to, having interviewed him at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas back in June. After spending a full day listening to other DJs that he loved at EDC, he explained why he thinks he does such a great job at revving up crowds. "I'm just human too and want to party and have a good time, as much as everyone else does," he explained.
He also chatted with us at EDC about the song that he thinks best defines his sound. "People always ask me about 'Spaceman,' and I think that's my signature song, and I still open with it. Not that I'm not a little tired of the intro, but when they hear it, they know it's Hardwell time, and it's 'Let's go!' It's one of my biggest songs and it's so typical Hardwell and the sound that I'm trying to produce. It came out exactly the way and wanted it to, and I think that's why it's my signature song."
Hardwell's rise to the top has been stratospheric. He placed 6th on the 2012 list and 24th in 2011. Having first stepped behind the decks at age 14, he's now become a prolific EDM producer. In addition to "Spaceman," his hits include "Three Triangles (Losing My Religion)," "Countdown," "Jumper," "Apollo" and his scorching collaboration with Dyro and Bright Lights, "Never Say Goodbye."
The DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll is the biggest dance music poll of its kind in the world. Now in its 20th anniversary, this year’s poll broke all previous records with music fans from across the globe in more than 170 countries casting more than 750,000 votes, cementing it as the definitive list for the international dance scene.
Rounding out the Top 5 were Dutch DJ Tiesto at #4 (down two spots) and French DJ David Guetta (down one). The top charting American DJ's were Skrillex (at #11) and In descending order, the rest of the list included:
6) Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (up 32 spots!)
7) Nicky Romero (up 10 spots)
8) Steve Aoki (up 7 spots)
9) Afrojack (flat)
10) Dash Berlin (down 3 spots)
11) Skrillex (down 1 spots)
12) Deadmau5 (down 7 spots)
13) Alesso (up 7 spots)
14) W & W (up 11 spots)
15) Calvin Harris (up 16 spots)
16) Nervo (the top charting women, up 30 spots)
17) Above & Beyond
18) Sebastian Ingrosso (formerly of Swedish House Mafia, up 16 spots solo)
19) Axwell (formerly of Swedish House Mafia, up 4 spots solo)
20) Aly & Fila (down 1 spot)