Forbes Releases Electronic Cash Kings 2017 List

credit: Rukes

Forbes recently released their annual list of Electronic Cash Kings aka the highest paid DJs in the world. The group collectively made $298 million, but the list reveals an unfortunate lack of diversity. There are no women and all of the men come from either the States or northern Europe, although there is a mix of age. The eldest is 49-year-old David Guetta coming in at #7 with $25 million and the youngest is Martin Garrixx at the age of 21 with $19.5 million in the #9 spot. “When I started, our music was underground,” Guetta told Forbes. “There was no such thing as DJ music that would be on the radio.” The list has the usual suspects with two newcomers, Marshmello and The Chainsmokers.

The anonymous DJ who performs in a puffy white mask, Marshmello, pulled in $21 million over the past year thanks to his nightly fees of six-figures and a rigorous touring schedule, which placed him in the #8 spot. “We’re creating more of a faceless brand,” said Marshmello’s manager, Moe Shalizi. “That’s Marshmello … he’s only about two and a half years old and he’s one of the biggest DJs in the world.”

The Chainsmokers snagged the #3 spot with $38 million due to their crossover hits like “Closer” (with Halsey) and “Something Just Like This” (with Coldplay). “We work with artists because it makes sense, because we’re excited about them,” the Chainsmokers’ Alex Pall told Forbes. “Anytime we work with someone, it’s because they offer something to us creatively that inspires us.”

Calvin Harris is #1 for the fifth consecutive year earning $48.5 million. The Scottish DJ earned the #1 spot due to his seven-figure music festival fees and mid-six-figure fees for his Las Vegas appearances. He is also a successful crossover producer with his recent release “Feels” featuring Pharrell Williams, Big Sean, and Katy Perry. Tiësto snagged the #2 spot with $39 million and has been in the top three every year since the Electronic Cash Kings list began. Check out Forbes’ Electronic Cash Kings 2017 List below!



  1. Calvin Harris $48.5 million
  2. Tiësto $39 million
  3. The Chainsmokers $38 million
  4. Skrillex $30 million
  5. Steve Aoki $29.5 million
  6. Diplo $28.5 million
  7. David Guetta $25 million
  8. Marshmello $21 million
  9. Martin Garrix $19.5 million
  10. Zedd $19 million

Source: Forbes

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