Today, the career of DJing has become a highly sought-after and increasingly lucrative profession, with some of the world’s top DJs raking in millions of dollars each year. From headlining international music festivals to commanding generous fees for private events, DJing has become a major source of income for some of the most popular DJs in the world.
A DJs role is more than just mixing tracks, it’s about creating a dynamic connection to music that helps craft unforgettable moments for the audience.
The 20 highest paid DJs in the world have earned their rankings through a combination of factors, including live performances, brand endorsements, and music sales. For example, Dutch DJ and producer Afrojack was the world’s highest-paid DJ in 2022, earning an estimated $60 million.
This income was largely derived from his high profile gigs at major music festivals and residencies in Las Vegas. In addition to his live performances, Afrojack also earned money from brand endorsements and producing and selling his own music.
Other top earners include Tiesto, Calvin Harris, and David Guetta, who all have lucrative deals with major brands such as Coca-Cola and Nike. They have also earned millions by playing live shows at some of the world’s most renowned music festivals, such as Tomorrowland, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Ultra Music Festival. In addition, many of these DJs have also earned money from music sales and royalties for their own records.
While the top earners of the DJing profession are certainly among the highest paid artists in the world, there are also many aspiring DJs who are just beginning their careers and hoping to one day make it to the top.
By understanding the factors that contribute to a successful career in DJing, such as live performances, brand endorsements, and music sales, these aspiring DJs can take the necessary steps to achieve their goals.
Criteria for Ranking the Highest Paid DJs
The criteria used to determine the highest paid DJs in the world include annual earnings from various sources, such as live performances, brand endorsements, and music sales. DJs can also rank higher if they have high levels of popularity and influence in the music industry.
For example, those who have a large number of fans, a strong social media presence, and successful releases often have higher ranks than those who lack these qualities.
In addition, the amount of money earned from each source is also taken into account when ranking the highest paid DJs. For instance, DJs who earn large sums from major brand endorsements or from residencies at music festivals are more likely to rank higher than those who mostly earn from producing and selling their own music.
Furthermore, the type of music a DJ produces can also affect their ranking. DJs who create popular EDM tracks, such as trance and trap, are more likely to be at the top of the list compared to those who specialize in more niche genres.
Finally, DJs who have multiple international bookings and performances over a 12-month period are more likely to earn higher rankings than those who perform only in their home country.
Top 20 Highest Paid DJs In The World
1. Calvin Harris
Calvin Harris is one of the most successful and highest paid DJs in the world, earning an estimated $300 million in 2022.
He is a Scottish DJ, singer, songwriter, and producer who has been producing music since 2002. His successful songs include “Feels” with Katy Perry, “This Is What You Came For” with Rihanna, and “One Kiss” with Dua Lipa.
He has also collaborated with artists such as Rihanna, Florence Welch, Big Sean, and Ellie Goulding. Harris has won a total of three Grammy Awards, including two for Best Music Video and one for Best Dance Recording.
He has also been named the world’s highest-paid DJ six times by Forbes. His estimated earnings for 2022 come from music sales, live performances, and brand endorsements with companies like Giorgio Armani, EA Sports, and Sol Republic headphones.
2. The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers are an American DJ duo made up of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall. The duo began producing music in 2012 and has since become one of the most popular and highest-paid EDM acts in the world.
Their success has come from a number of hit singles including “Closer”, “Roses”, and “Don’t Let Me Down”. In 2017, they won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for their single “Don’t Let Me Down”.
The Chainsmokers have also toured around the world, performing at festivals such as Coachella, Tomorrowland, and Lollapalooza.
In 2022, The Chainsmokers earned an estimated $150 million, making them the second highest-paid DJ duo in the world.
Their earnings come mainly from live performances and music sales, as well as from brand endorsements and investments.
Tiësto is a Dutch DJ and record producer best known for his work in the EDM (electronic dance music) scene. He has been credited with pioneering the EDM genre and is one of the most successful DJs of all time.
His career began in the 1990s and since then, he has released many hit singles and albums including “Just Be”, “Adagio for Strings”, and “Traffic”.
He has also collaborated with several artists including John Legend, Coldplay, and Katy Perry. Tiësto has won a number of awards including two MTV Europe Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, and a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.
In 2022, Tiësto earned an estimated $140 million, making him the third highest-paid DJ in the world. His earnings come from music sales, live performances, and brand endorsements with companies such as 7-Eleven, Coors Light, and Hyundai.
4. Steve Aoki
Steve Aoki is an American music producer, DJ, and entrepreneur. He is best known for his electro house music and his involvement in the EDM scene.
He began his career in the late 1990s, and since then he has released numerous albums and singles including “Wake Up Call”, “Cake Face”, and “Boneless”.
He has toured around the world, performing in festivals such as Ultra Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival.
In 2013, Steve Aoki was awarded the International Dance Music Award for Best Global DJ.
In 2022, Steve Aoki earned an estimated $120 million, making him the fourth highest-paid DJ in the world. His earnings come from music sales, live performances, and brand endorsements with companies such as Adidas and Bud Light.
Marshmello is an American DJ and producer. He is best known for his future bass and electronic dance music. He began his career in 2015 and since then he has released several hit singles and albums including “Alone”, “Silence”, and “Friends”.
He has toured around the world, performing in festivals such as Tomorrowland and Electric Daisy Carnival. In 2017, Marshmello won the International Dance Music Award for Best Breakthrough DJ.
In 2022, Marshmello earned an estimated $50 million. His earnings come from music sales, live performances, and brand endorsements with companies such as McDonald’s and Cheerios.
6. David Guetta
David Guetta is a French DJ and producer. He is best known for his house music and his involvement in the EDM scene.
He began his career in the early 2000s, and since then he has released numerous albums and singles including “Titanium”, “When Love Takes Over”, and “2U”.
He has toured around the world, performing in festivals such as Coachella and Tomorrowland. In 2010, David Guetta won the International Dance Music Award for Best Global DJ.
In 2022, David Guetta earned an estimated $150 million. His earnings come from music sales, live performances, and brand endorsements with companies such as Motorola and Absolut Vodka.
Diplo is an American DJ, songwriter, producer, and rapper. He has achieved tremendous success in the music industry and his career has been prolific.
Diplo, real name Thomas Wesley Pentz, was born in Mississippi in 1978. He grew up in Miami and attended the University of Central Florida, where he studied music and art. After leaving college, Diplo began his music career in the early 2000s, and has since become one of the most successful acts in the EDM scene.
Diplo has released numerous chart-topping singles and collaborations in addition to producing and remixing other artists’ songs. He is best known for his collaboration with M.I.A. on the hit single “Paper Planes,” which has been certified gold in the UK and platinum in the US.
In addition, Diplo has collaborated with numerous artists, including Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Madonna, Kanye West, and Usher. His work has been featured on the soundtracks of multiple films, including The Hangover Part II and 21 Jump Street.
Diplo has also co-founded the record labels Mad Decent and Good Enuff, as well as the electronic dancehall live show and music festival, Mad Decent Block Party.
Diplo is estimated to have an estimated net worth of $50 million. His earnings come primarily from his music sales, performances, and various brand endorsements. In addition, Diplo has earned money from his various business ventures, such as the record labels and festivals he has founded.
8. Martin Garrix
Martin Garrix is a Dutch DJ, record producer, and musician. He was born in Amstelveen, Netherlands, in 1996, and has been producing music since he was 14. He achieved mainstream success in 2013 with his single “Animals,” which peaked at the top of the charts in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Garrix has since gone on to become one of the most successful EDM DJs of all time. In addition to producing and remixing, Garrix has collaborated with several big-name artists, including Avicii, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Flo Rida, and David Guetta.
Garrix was voted the world’s number one DJ in 2016 and 2017 by DJ Mag and has won several awards, including a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for his 2016 single “In the Name of Love” featuring Bebe Rexha.
Garrix is estimated to have an estimated net worth of around $30 million. His earnings come primarily from his music sales, performances, and brand endorsements. He has also earned money from his various business ventures, such as his record label STMPD RCRDS.
Zedd is an electronic music producer, DJ, and songwriter from Germany. He started producing music at the age of 12 and quickly made a name for himself in the electronic dance music scene.
He has been producing for some of the biggest artists in the world, including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Selena Gomez. He has also had many of his own hits, such as “Clarity,” “Stay,” and “The Middle.” His most recent album, “True Colors,” was released in 2015 and debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart.
In terms of estimated earnings, Zedd is estimated to have earned over $20 million in tour revenue alone between 2011 and 2018. He has also earned millions in music sales and streaming, as well as from endorsement deals with companies like Pepsi and Mercedes Benz.
In 2019, Zedd was ranked number 10 on the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid DJs with an estimated earnings of $50 million.
10. Armin van Buuren
Armin van Buuren is a Dutch DJ, record producer, and part-time trance music composer. He is known for his extensive catalog of trance music, as well as his popular radio show, A State of Trance, which has aired for over a decade. His radio show consistently ranks in the Top 100 most listened-to radio shows worldwide.
Van Buuren first began his music career in 1996, when he released his debut album, 76. Since then, he has released 10 studio albums, as well as multiple compilation albums, live albums, and EPs. He has collaborated with many other renowned DJs and producers, including Above & Beyond and Tiësto.
Van Buuren has won four International Dance Music Awards for Best Global DJ and five DJ Awards for Best Trance DJ. He has also been nominated for several Grammy Awards. In addition, he has been listed as one of the Top 100 DJs in the world by DJ Magazine for a number of years.
Van Buuren is a prolific live performer, having performed at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals and clubs. He has also headlined music festivals such as Tomorrowland, Creamfields, Mysteryland, and Ultra Music Festival.
Van Buuren’s estimated earnings are $20 million per year. This includes income from music sales, streaming, live performances, endorsements, and more.
Kaskade is an American DJ, record producer, and remixer who has been creating music since the late 1990s. He has produced multiple chart-topping hits, including Grammy-nominated tracks such as “Angel on My Shoulder” and “I Remember.
He is one of the founding fathers of the progressive house genre, and has become one of the most popular EDM acts in the world.
Kaskade began his career as a DJ in the San Francisco underground club scene in the early 2000s. He released his debut album, It’s You, It’s Me, in 2003, and the album was a commercial success. He also released his second album, In the Moment, in 2004. The album featured collaborations with other prominent EDM acts, such as Deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner.
Kaskade has released over a dozen studio albums throughout his career, and has appeared as a guest on several popular television shows. He has also collaborated with multiple musical acts, including Late Night Alumni, Skrillex, Tiësto, and Zedd. His singles have been featured in major films, including 21 and The Hangover Part II.
Kaskade’s estimated earnings are estimated to be around $75 million. He has sold out numerous sold-out shows across the globe, and is one of the highest-paid DJs in the world.
He has received numerous awards and nominations, including five Grammy Award nominations. He has also been named the Billboard Hot 100 Dance Airplay Artist of the Decade for the 2010s.
Skrillex, also known as Sonny John Moore, is an American electronic music producer and DJ from Los Angeles, California. He is known for pioneering the dubstep genre in the United States and is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists in contemporary electronic dance music culture.
Skrillex began his career as a singer and guitarist in the post-hardcore band From First to Last. In 2008, he released his first EP, My Name Is Skrillex, as a solo artist, which sold 10,000 digital copies. It was the first of several EPs he released that year, including the Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP, which was critically acclaimed and helped establish him as an artist in the EDM community.
Skrillex’s music has been featured on popular television shows, such as The Vampire Diaries, CSI: NY, and American Dad. He has also won multiple awards, including six Grammy Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and a Billboard Music Award.
Skrillex has an estimated net worth of $70 million, which is thanks to his work as a musician and producer. He has also made money through his own record label, OWSLA, which released his debut album, Recess, in 2014. Additionally, Skrillex has made money through remixes, live performances, and collaborations.
Alesso is a Swedish DJ, record producer, and musician. He has released a number of singles and albums throughout his career, including the hit singles “Heroes (We Could Be)”, “Cool”, and “I Wanna Know”. He also has collaborated with Calvin Harris, Sia, and The Chainsmokers, among others.
Alesso made his debut in 2011 with the single “Calling”, which featured Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic. His debut album, Forever, was released in 2015 and included the singles “Heroes (We Could Be)” and “Tear the Roof Up”. He later released the single “Cool” with Roy English in 2015. In 2016, he collaborated with The Chainsmokers on the single “Don’t Let Me Down”. Additionally, he has collaborated with other acts such as Dillon Francis, David Guetta, and Usher.
Alesso has achieved much success throughout his career, and has won several awards, including two MTV Europe Music Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, one iHeartRadio Music Award, and one DJ Award. Additionally, he was named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential DJs” by Rolling Stone magazine in 2018.
Alesso has an estimated net worth of around $40 million, which he has earned through his successful career and his many tours. He has performed at some of the largest festivals in the world, including Tomorrowland, Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, and many more. He also has a residency at the Wynn Las Vegas Nightclub.
Afrojack is a Dutch DJ, music producer, and remixer who has been making waves in the electronic dance music (EDM) scene since the early 2000s. Born Nick van de Wall, Afrojack began producing music in his early teens and quickly gained a large following. In 2007, he moved to Los Angeles to further pursue music production.
Since his move, Afrojack has released numerous singles and albums that have topped international charts, including his collaboration with Madonna on the track “Give Me All Your Luvin”. He has also remixed tracks for countless artists, including Pitbull, Ne-Yo, and Beyoncé. Afrojack has also founded his own record label, Wall Recordings, which features numerous EDM artists.
In addition to his music career, Afrojack has also found success as a live performer. He has performed in some of the world’s most renowned EDM festivals, such as Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, and Electric Daisy Carnival. He has also hosted his own series of parties, A-List, which feature some of the world’s best DJs.
Afrojack’s estimated earnings are reported to be in the range of $60 million. According to the Forbes list of Highest-Paid DJs, Afrojack was the 10th highest-paid DJ in the world in 2019. He continues to remain one of the most sought-after DJs in the EDM scene.
15. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike are two Belgian DJs and music producers, made up of brothers Dimitri Thivaios and Michael Thivaios. The duo has become a global phenomenon since they first began performing together in 2007. They have gone on to become one of the most successful DJ acts in the world, with their music topping the charts in their native Belgium and around the world.
The duo has headlined many of the world’s biggest music festivals, including Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, Coachella, and Creamfields. In 2019, they became the first DJs to ever perform at the prestigious Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. They have also been voted the world’s No.1 DJ act four years in a row (2015-2018) at the DJ Mag Top 100 poll.
In addition to their live performances, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike have an extensive production discography, which includes collaborations with artists like David Guetta, Diplo, and Steve Aoki. Their music has been released on labels such as Spinnin’ Records, 3 Beat Records, and Armada Music.
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike are estimated to be worth a combined $15.5 million. The majority of their wealth is derived from their performances and music sales, as well as merchandise sales and endorsements. They are sponsored by the likes of Red Bull, T-Mobile, and Heineken, and have their own clothing line, DVLM Gear.
Robbert van de Corput, better known by his stage name Hardwell, is a Dutch DJ, record producer, and the founder of Revealed Recordings. He began his working career with Dutch artist Tiesto, becoming an apprentice at the age of 14.
After being placed at number 24 in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs list of 2011, Hardwell rose to number 6 the next year. His first studio album, ‘United We Are’, was released in 2015 and reached number one on the US Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
He has also had numerous collaborations with artists such as Martin Garrix, Afrojack, and Armin van Buuren. Hardwell has an estimated net worth of around $13 million.
He has headlined many music festivals such as Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland, and Electric Daisy Carnival.
In 2017, Hardwell released his second studio album ‘Spaceman’, which featured his hits ‘Dare You’, ‘Apollo’ and ‘Halo’. Hardwell has also performed at high-profile events such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
Kygo is a Norwegian DJ, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for his electronic dance music and remixes of popular songs. He is considered the pioneer of tropical house music and has become one of the most successful EDM artists in the world.
Kygo began producing music in his bedroom in 2012, and his career first gained traction when he released a remix of the track “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye. He gained further recognition when he opened for Avicii at the Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel in 2014.
His first single, “Firestone”, was released in December 2014 and became an international hit, reaching number one on the Norwegian Singles Chart and the top 10 in multiple countries around the world. He has since released several hit singles including “Stole the Show”, “It Ain’t Me” with Selena Gomez, and “Higher Love” with Whitney Houston.
Kygo has achieved considerable commercial success throughout his career. He has had numerous hit singles, and his albums have been certified multiple times in several countries. He has also performed at some of the world’s biggest music festivals such as Coachella, Tomorrowland, and Ultra Music Festival.
Kygo has an estimated net worth of around $25 million. He has earned the majority of his money from record sales, streaming royalties, live performances, and endorsements. He has endorsement deals with several major brands such as Honda and Maserati. Kygo also has a line of sunglasses, watches, and headphones, which have been sold in stores worldwide.
18. DJ Snake
DJ Snake is a French DJ and record producer who has gained international recognition for his unique and innovative sound. Born in Paris, France, DJ Snake began producing music at an early age. His early work received acclaim from the local underground hip-hop scene.
In 2013, DJ Snake released his debut single, “Bird Machine,” which featured American hip-hop artist Alesia. The single was a commercial success, peaking at #23 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and hitting #1 on the UK Dance Charts. Since then, he has released several successful singles, including “Turn Down for What,” “Middle,” and “Taki Taki,” which featured Selena Gomez, Ozuna, and Cardi B.
In addition to his solo work, DJ Snake has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry, such as Justin Bieber, Major Lazer, Diplo, and Skrillex. He has also been featured on numerous hit tracks, including “Let Me Love You,” “Lean On,” and “Where Are U Now.”
DJ Snake has earned numerous awards and accolades for his work, including a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording for his collaboration with Skrillex on “Where Are U Now.” He has also won multiple American Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, and Billboard Music Awards.
DJ Snake has an estimated net worth of around $8 million. He has earned income from his solo music, collaborations, and various endorsements. He has also earned income from touring and performing at various festivals and events around the world.
19. Axwell & Ingrosso
Axwell & Ingrosso is a Swedish DJ and EDM production duo consisting of two former members of the Swedish House Mafia, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. Formed in 2014, the duo has released a number of successful singles including “Sun Is Shining,” “Something New,” and “More Than You Know.”
Axwell and Ingrosso have both been involved in the music industry since the mid-2000s. Axwell was previously part of the group Swedish House Mafia and has had a successful solo career. Ingrosso was a part of the duo SHM and has also been a successful solo artist and award-winning producer.
The duo released their debut album More Than You Know in 2017. The album featured singles such as “Dream Bigger,” “On My Way,” “Renegade,” and “More Than You Know.” The album was well received by critics and fans alike.
Axwell & Ingrosso has headlined at some of the world’s most popular music festivals including Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland, and the Swedish music festival Summerburst. They have also completed several world tours, including the Departures tour in 2017.
The duo has earned several awards over the course of their career, including Best Electronic Music Duo/Group from the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2017 and Best Dance/Electronic Album from the Grammys in 2018 for More Than You Know.
Axwell & Ingrosso has an estimated net worth of around $8 million. They also have several lucrative endorsement deals with companies such as Apple Music and Adidas.
20. Alison Wonderland
A Sydney-born DJ and producer, Alison Wonderland has been at the forefront of Australia’s electronic music scene since the mid-2000s. Her career began as a DJ, playing in and around Sydney’s club and live music scene. She then built a loyal following with a series of successful mixtapes, released between 2007 and 2013.
In 2014, she provided a breakthrough moment with her debut album Run, which debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Australia Album chart. She followed this up with her second album Awaken, My Love in 2017, which also featured on the ARIA Albums Chart. Along with an extensive tour schedule, she has also released a number of successful singles, such as “U Don’t Know”, “Easy” and “Cry”.
Alison has also provided some of the most popular remixes of the last few years, with her reworking of Flume’s “Never Be Like You” reaching No. 1 in Australia and the US Dance chart. With her increasingly popular sound and a global tour schedule, she has become one of Australia’s most successful electronic music exports.
According to reports, Alison has an estimated net worth of around $16 million, with her music and live performances being the major contributors to her wealth.
In conclusion, the highest paid DJs in the world have created an impressive legacy that serves as a reminder of their immense talent and influence. Their success has established electronic dance music as one of the most lucrative musical genres in the world. As new talent continues to develop within this increasingly popular field, there is potential for some of these DJs to become even more successful in years to come.
Who are the highest paid DJs in the world?
According to Forbes, the highest paid DJs in the world in 2021 are Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Marshmello, Diplo, and Tiesto.
How much do the highest paid DJs make?
The highest paid DJs in the world typically make millions of dollars each year, with Calvin Harris topping the list in 2021 with $48 million. David Guetta follows close behind with $35 million, then Marshmello at $32 million, Diplo at $30 million, and Tiesto at $28 million.
What do the highest paid DJs do to make money?
The highest paid DJs make money through a variety of avenues, such as producing music, playing live shows, running their own music labels, and endorsement deals. They also make money from digital streams and radio and television appearances.
How do the highest paid DJs in the world compare to other celebrities?
The highest paid DJs in the world make more money than some of the top celebrities in the world, such as athletes, actors, and singers. However, they still fall behind the richest celebrities in the world, such as Michael Jordan and Kylie Jenner.