15 Top Earning DJs of All Time – Best Paid DJs of 2021

You all have danced to their beats, sung along with them and even cheered for them, but have you ever wondered how much your favorite DJ earns.

A DJ is a celebrity, internet star and also a popular sensation. There is a huge fan following for all the DJs out there. Therefore, it’s pretty clear they earn a lot of money.

Forbes published a list which mentions the top earning DJs this year and how much they earn.

Here is our version of the list which showcases the best paid DJs of 2021, have a quick look for yourself.

Table of Contents

1. The Chainsmokers

source: instagram

Finally the six year streak of Calvin Harris as the best earning DJ was broken and The Chainsmokers, dethroned them to earn the first place and become the best paid DJ of 2020.

It turns out that their track, ‘Closer’ featuring Hasley, which also trended number one on UK for quite some time and the team-up with Coldplay on ‘Something just like this’ really did the trick.

With approx. $46 million in profit, The Chainsmokers stand tall at the podium this year.

2. Marshmello

source: instagram

You can’t guess his identity, but you can certainly find out how much profit he made this year. Marshmello is also a newcomer, but has become an established name over the recent years.

He has been consistently trying to rank up in the leader-boards of the best earning DJs.

In 2017 he came in at number 8 but just a year later he rose up to the 5th place. The hard work paid off and he made it to the 2nd place this year.

Marshmello came in just short of $6 million to come on top of this list. The total profit Marshmello earns amounts to approx. $40 million.

3. Calvin Harris

source: instagram

This name was on top of the leader-boards of the best earning DJs since the last six consecutive years, but it turns out 2019 just wasn’t the year for them.

The former cash king of EDM dropped down to number 3 this year and gave a way for The Chainsmokers and Marshmello to rise up.

Despite the fact that his collaboration with Rag’N’Bone Man, ‘Giant’ was a huge success, the pre-tax earnings of Calvin Harris amounts to about $38.5 million which isn’t less by any means, but wasn’t enough for securing the 1st position.

4. Steve Aoki

source: instagram

This name has become quite popular during the recent years and Steve Aoki has gained a lot of loyal fans. This is mostly due to his work ethics and hard work.

He has performed over 200 shows during the scoring period and continues to be one of the most hard-working DJs on this list.

He was in 4th position last year and it seems he continues to hold it for this year too.

Thanks to his own Dim Mark record label, clothing brand and brand endorsement deals from huge brands such as Samsung and Diesel, he made an approximate profit of about $30 million this year.

5. Diplo

source: instagram

Thomas Wesley Pentz, professionally known as Diplo in the music industry rose up from the 7th position last year to 5th position this year.

He is the co-creator and lead member of Major Lazer and also a part of various groups and subgroups, notable ones being LSD with Sia and Labrinth, Jack U with DJ Skrillex and many more.

He also manages his own record company Mad Decent.

This all made a major contribution to his profits and when tallied so far it amounts to approx. $25 million for this year.

6. Tiësto

source: instagram

This Dutch DJ and record producer, takes in the 6th place on this list. He has been getting very popular during recent years.

He goes by the industry name Tiësto, however his full name is Tijs Michiel Verwest. Tiësto is a co-founder of Black Hole Recording with Arny Bink. His latest remix of “Tough Love” a tribute to the late DJ Avicii became quite popular among fans of both the DJs.

The total income generated by Tiësto this year amounts to about $24 million.

7. Martin Garrix

source: instagram

Martin Garrix is one of the most popular DJs in the world and a regular name on this list. You might have known him for his popular tracks such as ‘Animals’, ‘In the Name of Love’ etc.

The growth of his career can be credited to his performances at various music festivals. He performed at the Ultra Music Festival Australia and headlined Tomorrowland Winter, in France.

His total generated income is $19 million for this year.

8. David Guetta

source: instagram

This French DJ, is also a leading DJ in the EDM industry and a popular name amongst the crowd. Same as last year, he retains the 8th position this year too.

David Guetta has sold over 9 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide. He is known for collaborating with various popular artists such as Martin Garrix, Sia etc. Some of his recent songs including ‘Stay’ and ‘Never Be Alone’ enjoyed good worldwide success.

The total pre-tax earnings of David Guetta amounts to approx. $19 million.

9. Zedd

source: instagram

Taking in the 9th position is Zedd. Anton Zaslavsky, who commonly goes by the name of Zedd in the music industry is a German-Russian DJ and record producer.

He gained a lot of popularity and fan following in the UK with his hit single Clarity featuring FOXES. His recent collaboration was with Katy Perry and released a hit single ‘365’.

His total income generated this year amounts to approximately $17 million.

10. Armin Van Burren

source: instagram

Armin Van Burren is a Dutch DJ from South Holland. He started with a radio show called “State of Trance” which propelled his career in the music industry.

Armin Van Burren also holds a record of most entries on US Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart. His latest release, ‘Lonely For You’ featuring Bonnie McKee was quite a hit.

Armin Van Burren generated a total income of $15 million this year.

11. Kaskade

source: instagram

Ryan Gary Raddon, is an American DJ who goes by the industry name of Kaskade. He is pretty popular in the states with many hit tracks under his name. His recent track, ‘On Your Mind’ enjoyed quite a success with over 5 million views on YouTube.

Kaskade stands on 11th position on this list with total estimated earnings of about $14 million.

12. Skrillex

source: instagram

Skrillex is yet another popular and recurring name on this list. Sonny John Moore, who goes by the stage name of Skrillex in the industry scored 12th position on this list.

He started as a lead singer in the band “From First to Last” and then went on solo. He has won 8 Grammy Awards and holds the record of most Grammy’s won by an EDM artist.

The total earnings of Skrillex as of this year amounts to about $13 million.

13. Alesso

source: instagram

This Swedish DJ and record producer is one of the younger DJs to make it to this list. He has collaborated with various industry leaders such as David Guetta, Calvin Harris etc. and has made quite a name for himself. He has also performed in various music festivals such as Tomorrowland.

Alesso secured 13th position on this list with overall estimated profit of about $12 million.

14. Afrojack

source: instagram

Nick van de Wall, commonly known by his stage name Afrojack is a Dutch DJ and remixer. He is regularly featured in the top 10 on the list of top 100 DJs published by DJ Mag.

He collaborated with David Guetta on ‘Hey Mama’ also featuring Nicki Minaj and Bebe Rexha.

Afrojack made it to the 14th position on this list by earning a total profit of approximately $12.5 million.

15. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, DJ Pauly D and DJ Snake

The 15th position is a tie as all these DJs have earned approximately equal profits. They each made about $11.5 million profit this year. Therefore the 15th position is held by each of these artists.

Conclusion

So these were the top 15 DJs who made the list of the best paid DJs of 2020. Do take a note that these figures are estimates derived from stats from Nielsen, Pollstar, Bandsintown and Songkick as well as interviews from the stars themselves.

These are in no way the exact figures and it also doesn’t deduct management fees and other expenses.

About Ronald Ross

Being a seasoned musician myself, I share experiences that help other musicians on their journeys. Whether it's about musical equipment, streaming services, instruments or promoting music; I try to cover everything at Loud Beats. Learn more about me here.