Calvin Harris named top earning DJ
Calvin Harris has been named the world’s highest-paid DJ for the fourth year in a row.
The ‘Summer’ hitmaker saw a $3 million dip in his annual income but still managed to make an estimated $63 million in pre-tax earnings in the period June 2015-June 2016, thanks in part to his Las Vegas residency, which nets him a staggering $400,000 per show.
The Scottish star’s earnings are far more than Tiësto, who took second place with $38 million after playing over 100 gigs in the last year, as well as an estimated seven-figure endorsement deal with 7-UP.
In third place was French DJ David Guetta, who also has a Las Vegas residency, with $28 million, thanks in part to scoring the Euro 2016 theme song.
Rounding out the top five were Zedd, with $24.5 million and Steve Aoki with $23.5 million.
Despite their vast sums seen by the earners on Forbes’ annual list, the financial bible report an overall decline of 1% in earnings on the top 10, the first time the figure has dropped since they began compiling the EDM chart in 2012.
Steve Aoki noted: "The bubble has already burst in America. You can see it in Vegas’ DJ landscape."
A number of the DJs on the list made their money from other genres, such as Skrillex, who took seventh place with $20 million, having produced five of the tracks on Justin Bieber’s comeback album ‘Purpose’.
The top 10 featured no women, with the highest-earning female DJ group, Nervo – who co-wrote Guetta’s 2009 hit single ‘When Love Takes Over- earning a relatively small $10 million.
And the financial experts admit it is "bizarre" in modern times for women to seemingly be repeatedly overlooked by bookers.
Ryan Mac, who helped compile the list, told The Independent: "We’ve never had a woman actually crack the rankings ever…
"I’m not doing to the bookings so I really couldn’t say, but if you look at where earnings are being given it’s often at things like a Las Vegas residency where guys can get paid $200,000 per night and they do three or four shows a month.
"There are not a lot of women who have those residencies – Nervo, Krewella, but most are usually given to male DJs.
"If you look at festivals, a lot of female DJs aren’t headlining or toplining. This year it was big that Anna Lunoe was the first solo women to headline Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and Alice in Wonderland played the mainstage. It’s 2016 and it’s the first time that has happened. That’s bizarre to me."
Forbes magazine’s 2016 list of highest-earning DJs:
1. Calvin Harris, $63 million
2. Tiësto, $38 million
3. David Guetta, $28 million.
4. Zedd, $24.5 million
5. Steve Aoki, $23.5 million
6. Diplo, $23 million
7. Skrillex, $20 million
8. Kaskade, $19 million
9. Martin Garrix, $16 million
10. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, $15.5 million