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November 18, 2017

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World’s highest-paid DJ: Calvin Harris clocks in at $46 million


Brenton Ho/

DJ Calvin Harris at Hakkasan Las Vegas at MGM Grand on Saturday, June 8, 2013.

Tiesto, Calvin Harris and R3hab at Hakkasan and Wet Republic

DJ Tiesto at Hakkasan Las Vegas in MGM Grand on Friday, May 3, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Move over, Tiesto: There’s a new highest-paid DJ in the world.

It’s been a back-and-forth battle the past few years between the well-respected Dutchman, who has been around long before this current electronic dance music explosion, and Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, who a few years ago was bagging groceries, and Harris has taken over, according to a story posted by

While Forbes’ story doesn’t have a date of publication or report the timeframe of salaries, the figures are still astounding, and the methodology in creating the list (noted at the end of the story) is interesting.

Harris clocks in at $46 million, while Tiesto plays runner-up at $32 million (poor guy). The Scotsman, along with French DJ David Guetta, has led the recent crossover to the mainstream pop charts with big-hit collaborations with, among others, Akon, Rihanna (their Grammy-winning “We Found Love”), Ne-Yo, Florence Welch and, currently, Ellie Goulding.

Harris, who also has had solo hits (“Feel So Close”), was part of the lineup — and a highlight — of last year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The highest-paid list is a who’s who of Las Vegas resident headliners and visitors, among them Kaskade, Avicii, Steve Aoki, Deadmau5, Afrojack, Guetta and the (sadly) now-defunct Swedish House Mafia.

Check out Forbes’ story for full details, and click here for our April story on Las Vegas’ highest-paid DJs in 2012.

Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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