If the electronic dance music takeover hadn’t yet made itself plain, Forbes just gave it a boost by releasing the 2013 earnings of the year’s highest paid DJs. Scottish DJ, singer and producer Calvin Harris tops the list of Electronic Cash Kings, raking in $46 million this year.
Harris’ lightning-fast ascension knocked Tiesto from his perch as the highest paid DJ; he pulled $32 million this year, $10 million more than his 2012 take when he was top dog. Harris even earned more money this year than pop Smurfette Katy Perry and rap demigod Jay Z, affirming EDM’s pull in the space.
What’s Harris’ recipe? In addition to booking more than 70 shows over a two-year period at Las Vegas megaclub Hakkasan — where he picks up nightly fees in excess of $200,000 — Harris draws a broad audience by collaborating with pop sensations like Rihanna, Florence Welch, Ellie Goulding and Ne-Yo. Each of those artists appear on his latest album, “18 Months,” which reigned supreme on dance charts in both the U.S. and U.K.
For a little perspective, Forbes notes in its report that the top 12 earners pulled in a combined $268 million over the past year, which is more than the combined gross domestic product of island nations Kiribati and Tuvalu. Viva the United States of EDM.
Here’s Forbes’ complete list:
1. Calvin Harris ($46 million)
2. Tiesto ($32 million)
3. David Guetta ($30 million)
4. Swedish House Mafia ($25 million)
5. Deadmau5 ($21 million)
6. Avicii ($20 million)
7. Afrojack ($18 million)
8. Armin van Buuren ($17 million)
9 (tie). Skrillex ($16 million)
9 (tie). Kaskade ($16 million)
11. Steve Aoki ($14 million)
12. DJ Pauly D ($13 million)
13. Diplo ($13 million)