Earlier this month, it was revealed that The Chainsmokers and Marshmello had both dethroned Calvin Harris on the annual Forbes Highest-Paid Entertainers list. Those numbers carry over now to the publication’s official Electronic Cash Kings list for 2019. This is the first year that Harris hasn’t been #1 atop the list since 2012.
The new list presents a seismic shift, with younger DJs topping the group and some new names, as well. Diplo breaks into the top 5 after being cut out by Zedd last year, while Tiesto falls to #6. Martin Garrix rises three spots with $6 million more in 2019 than 2018.
Armin van Buuren returns to the list for the first time since 2013, the year that Calvin topped it for the first time. Skrillex also makes his way back on the list after a year of touring and releases. Another new name is Alesso, who makes the list at #13 with $12.5 million, between Skrillex and Afrojack.
An odd addition for this year is DJ Pauly D, who’s been absent from the list since 2012. You’d think with how many massive touring DJs there are in the world, that a DJ whose sole income (mostly) comes from Vegas residencies would be topped, but that is not the case. Forbes also takes into account endorsements, which is where Pauly might have eked his way onto the list.
DJ Snake, DJ Pauly D, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike all tie for #15 with $11.5 million a piece.
Since Forbes started tracking DJs in 2012, not a single female act has appeared on the ranking. Forbes writes, “A few have come close, like twin duo Nervo in 2014; Alison Wonderland got within a few million this year.”
See the full list below.
Electronic Cash Kings 2019: The Full List
- The Chainsmokers ($46 million)
2. Marshmello ($40 million)
3. Calvin Harris ($38.5 million)
4. Steve Aoki ($30 million)
5. Diplo ($25 million)
6. Tiësto ($24 million)
7. Martin Garrix ($19 million)
8. David Guetta ($18 million)
9. Zedd ($17 million)
10. Armin van Buuren ($15 million)
11. Kaskade ($14 million)
12. Skrillex ($13 million)
13. Alesso ($12.5 million)
14. Afrojack ($12 million)
15. DJ Snake ($11.5 million, tie)
15. DJ Pauly D ($11.5 million, tie)
15. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike ($11.5 million, tie)
Via Forbes, “Our list of the world’s highest-paid DJs ranks electronic acts around the globe using pretax earnings from June 1, 2018 through June 1, 2019; we do not deduct fees for lawyers, agents and managers. Estimates are based on numbers from Nielsen, Pollstar, Bandsintown and Songkick, as well as interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves.”