Skip to main content

Forbes World's Highest-Paid DJs: Electronic Cash Kings 2015 includes popular DJ and music producer on Jamaica's party scene

Forbes is out with another one of their popular lists of entertainment's top earners. This the world's top DJ's are analyzed by the financial magazine' team of calculator jockeys and no other than the California based, American DJ, music producer, rapper and songwriter Diplo, member of the group MAJOR LAZER is listed among the new names making big $'s as well.

Diplo ties at #11 with DJ Deadmau5 both earning US$15 million.  At the top of the list is the popular Scottish DJ Calvin Harris earning a whopping US$66 million. Harris over the past twelve months, dropped an album that rocketed to the top of the U.S. dance charts and as a result of dating Taylor Swift, dethroned power couple Jay Z and Beyonce as music's top-earning couple.  Dutch DJ David Guetta earned almost half as much coming in at #2 earing US$37 million last year. Guetta achieved mainstream success with with his 2009 album One Love which included 3 singles (Love Takes Over, Gettin Over You and Sexy B*#tch) which reached #1 in the UK.

On Forbes magazine methodology, "Our earning estimates include
income from live shows, endorsements, merchandise sales, recorded music sales and external business ventures. Sources include Nielsen, SongKick, Pollstar, RIAA, Promoters, managers, lawyers and some of the artists themselves."

According to Forbes, over the past 12 months, the top ten DJ's took in US$274 million, more than double the US$116 million total for the top ten in 2012. But the pace is slowing. After a 108% increase from 2012 to 2013, the number grew 11% from, 2013 to 2014, and only 2.35% from 2014-15. Part of the reason: the market for EDM acts become more saturated, fees aren't rising at the rate they were a few years ago. And many DJs are engaging in a costly arms race to pack their shows with visual effects to distinguish themselves from their rivals. That means the genre whose practitioners need little more than a USB drive and a pair of CDJs now often put 30-40% of their fees toward production.
Popular on the Jamaican party scenes, 37 year old Diplo was instrumental in a prominent photo spread feature of Jamaica's Dancehall music and party scenes in the Vanity Fair magazine in 2012.  However his Jamaican connection began in 2009 along with Switch as a duo, recorded their first album Guns Don't Kill People....Lazers Do.  The project featured Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man, Ward 21, Turbulence, Mr. Vegas and Busy Signal among others. When discussing the Major Lazer project, Diplo described the dancehall sound as being "the end of the world, all the little influences - house, soca, oldies, RnB, jazz - it all ends up in Jamaica." Diplo's Mixpak label has also been instrumental in the music production of artistes such as Popcaan.
Walshy Fire, Diplo, Jillionaire

Along with group members Walshy Fire and Jillionaire, Diplo fuse music and culture on their Billboard charting single, Lean On that also features French producer/EDM Viral Hitmaker DJ Snake. In my humble opinion, MAJOR LAZER successfully created a greater appreciation of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) among Jamaicans in Jamaica