Calvin Harris' $46M Year Makes Him 2013's 'Electronic Cash King'

Scottish DJ outdid Tiësto's 2012 high by more than double, says Forbes list

calvin harris, dj, forbes, highest paid, electronic cash king
Calvin Harris spinning (and pretty much printing his own money) at Firefly Music Festival 2013 Photo by Getty Images
Kyle McGovern WRITTEN BY
Kyle McGovern

Calvin Harris has been crowned the new "Electronic Cash King" which, no, is not a reference to his ATM withdrawal prowess. Forbes dropped its annual list of the highest-paid DJs in the world on Wednesday (August 14), and the Scottish superstar came out on top, reportedly earning $46 million per year with nightly fees exceeding $200,000. The financial mag attributes Harris' liquidity to chart-dominating singles he wrote for Rihanna (most notably "We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been"), as well as a sizable publishing advance. 

"The rise of dance music has been astronomical in the last three years," said Harris, who also ranked among the 10 Top-Earning Celebrities Under 30. "I happened to be in the right place at the right time." 

Not only did the 18 Months star rake in more dosh than non-EDM titans like Jay Z and Katy Perry this year, but his impressive total is more than double what last year's list-topper scored. As SPIN noted last August, Tiësto out-earned every other DJ with a $22 million income in 2012. This time around, the Dutch-born producer finished second, but still trounced his previous plateau with a $32 million salary. So this is what it looks like before a bubble bursts

The rest of the top five reads as such: David Guetta came in third with $30 million, besting his 2012 figure of $13.5 million via lucrative live shows and collaborations with the Black Eyed Peas and Usher; Swedish House Mafia's farewell tour helped the now-defunct trio hit the $25 million mark, a dramatic increase over last year's $14 million; and industry curmudgeon Deadmau5 placed fifth with $21 million, up from $11.5 million.

Forbes rounded out the countdown with respectable totals from Avicii ($20 million), Afrojack ($18 million), Armin van Buuren ($17 million), Skrillex ($16 million), Kaskade ($16 million), Steve Aoki ($14 million), the Jersey Shore's DJ Pauly D ($13 million), and Diplo ($13 million). Find the full list below.

Forbes' 12 Highest-Paids DJs in 2013: 

1. Calvin Harris, $46 million 
2. Tiësto, $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. Skrillex, $16 million (tie) 
9. Kaskade, $16 million (tie) 
11. Steve Aoki, $14 million 
12. DJ Pauly D, $13 million (tie)
12. Diplo, $13 million (tie)

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