It turns out that creating disco is a really profitable venture.
Scottish DJ and producer Calvin Harris has supplanted the Dutch titan Tiësto as the best-paid DJ in 2013, according to a new Forbes Magazine accounting. The superstar reportedly raked in $46 million over the last year, easily besting not only peers such as David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia but also nearly all his pop and hip-hop peers.
His tally comes from his $200,000-and-up nightly DJ fees, an enviable publishing deal, his “18 Months” album and his production work on Rihanna’s smash singles “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been?” His take is more than twice what last year’s top-earner, Tiësto, pulled over the same period in 2012, suggesting that EDM’s fire hose of money isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Harris’ take was also good enough to place him in the list of highest-grossing celebrities under age 30 for 2013.
The rest of the EDM earners list is full of the names you’d expect -- Avicii, Deadmau5, Afrojack, Skrillex and Kaskade all made the top 10. Among the surprises? DJ Pauly D, of “Jersey Shore” fame, coasting in at No. 12 despite, shall we say, having a different reputation than most of his peers on that list.
Dim Mak’s Steve Aoki deserves a victory cake in the face for clocking in at No. 11, and Diplo’s recent turns at pop producing were good enough to tie with DJ Pauly D for No. 12.
Lessons learned? Maybe DJing is a more reliable revenue stream than data mining your new album after all.