Highest Paid DJs: Forbes List Topped by Newcomer Calvin Harris

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Friday, 16 Aug 2013 03:55 PM

By Robin Farmer

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Forbes released its global list of highest paid DJs this week. Topping the chart? Calvin Harris, who went from bagging groceries to bagging cash — an estimated $46 million of it — over the past months.

“The rise of dance music has been astronomical in the last three years and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I made that decision completely by accident,” the Scottish DJ and producer told Forbes magazine.

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The 29-year-old with the massive following did not even land on Forbes' inaugural list last year. Still, he earned more in 12 months than Rihanna, a frequent collaborator.

Harris' tally also places him in the list of highest-grossing celebrities under age 30 for 2013, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Not a bad haul for a guy who less than 10 years ago worked in a supermarket and lived with his parents in Dumfries, Scotland.

Harris rakes in most of his cash from touring, including high-end markets like Las Vegas where he can command $300,000 for working one night, he told Forbes.

The superstar marries electronic music skills with songwriting, endorsements, and production deals. He has written and prdocued songs for Rihanna’s smash singles “Where Have You Been?” and “We Found Love.” He sold more than 25 million singles in the last year with his latest album, "18 Months."

“I want to be the number one songwriter-producer guy of all time,” says Harris, who earned an Ivor Novello Award for “Songwriter of the Year” and recently inked a deal with Sony/ATV Music publishing.

“We’ve gone past the point of where a DJ plays someone else’s records and that’s it,” mega-nightclub CEO Neil Moffitt told Forbes Magazine. “Calvin Harris is an international songwriter, record seller, music producer and collaborator.”

Online reaction to his good fortune was mixed on Forbes.com.

“Amazing what nonsense people will waste money on. Is there really that much skill between two guys in how they push the play button on the CD player?” wrote one commenter on the Forbes article.

“I often times wonder where the endless amounts of customers stem from,” wrote another. “They seem to have an insatiable appetite for house music and partying. Congratulations to Calvin Harris; still an inspiration to small time djs worldwide.”

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