June 24, 2018 / 10:45 AM

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Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Tiësto and Avicii Top Forbes Highest-Paid EDM Performers List


Music Times caught Calvin Harris at Lollapalooza during the first weekend of August and noted that it seemed the DJ had invested his earning from last year-$46 million-into his elaborate and bright stage set. If our hypothesis that the size of his set directly reflects his earnings, next year's concerts will be off the charts: Harris topped Forbes' list of the highest earning electronic musicians for the second straight year, bringing a whopping $66 million over the last 12 months. 

It's a reflection on the continuing growth of electronic dance music, from huge festivals to extravagant nightclubs and the residencies they offer. Still, Harris's numbers are more than double the earnings of the no. 2 performer on the list: David Guetta, who brought in $30 million (which isn't a salary we would complain about). 

Other noteworthy facts from this year's Top 10 earners: Steve Aoki, who placed at no. 5 by earning $23 million, proves that hard work does pay off. The DJ played nearly twice as many shows as anyone else on the list. And how does income correlate to quality? Well, if you put any faith in DJMag's yearly DJ rankings, last year's no. 1 Hardwell came in at no. 11 in terms of earnings, bringing in $13 million. 

Here's the full Top 12: 

01) Calvin Harris...$66 million

02) David Guetta...$30 million

03/04) Tiësto...$28 million

03/04) Avicii...$28 million

05) Steve Aoki...$23 million

06) Afrojack...$22 Million

07) Zedd...$21 million

08) Kaskade...$17 million

09) Skrillex...$16.5 million

10) Deadmau5...$16 million

11/12) Hardwell...$13 million

11/12) Armin Van Buuren...$13 million

Forbes numbers take everything from merchandise to club fees into account when making its rankings. This is especially from prescient to Daft Punk, who narrow avoided the Top 10 based on sales from Random Access Memories alone. Had they played actual ticketed shows during 2014, they could have easily approached the top of the list. 

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