Forbest has a “special report” on the world’s highest paid DJs. Dutch born DJ Tiesto tops the list with earnings of $22 million, who makes an average nightly gross of $250,000. Grammy-winning California native Skrillex ranks second with $15 million, followed by Scandinavian trio Swedish House Mafia, which recently disbanded despite pulling in an estimated $14 million. French DJ David Guetta claims the No. 4 spot with $13.5 million:
Though these Electronic Cash Kings hail from all over the globe, they’ve got at least one thing in common: they all make the bulk of their money by touring. Often toting nothing more than a USB stick and a pair of Pioneer CDJs, their production costs are often negligible, unlike rockers and pop stars who typically take home just one-third of gross ticket sales.
Our estimates include earnings from these live shows—for many artists, that often means more than $100,000 for a night’s work—and from recorded music sales, endorsements, merchandise sales and, in the case of DJ Pauly D, television…
The collective total for the top 10 DJs is more than $125 million, or greater than the payroll of the Los Angeles Lakers.