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Calvin Harris Tops 'Forbes' List of Highest Paid DJs

Tiësto, David Guetta also make strong showings

Calvin Harris
John Lamparski/WireImage
August 15, 2013 1:50 PM ET

Step aside, Tiësto. Calvin Harris tops this year's Forbes list of highest paid DJs, raking in $46 million over the last 12 months, according to the magazine's calculations (which take into account merch, live shows, endorsements, record sales and outside business ventures). The Scottish DJ-producer pulled down more than even Jay Z and Katy Perry, and did enough to dethrone Tiësto – who pulled in $22 million per Forbes' 2012 list – from the top spot.

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The Dutch titan is still rolling strong, though: Tiësto slipped to second behind Harris, but earned an improved $32 million over the last year. David Guetta arrived at third with $30 million, with the now-disbanded Swedish House Mafia in fourth with $25 million. Deadmau5 rounded out the top five with $21 million in the last year.

The rest of the list offers expected names, with Avicii (sixth with $20 million), Afrojack (seventh with $18 million), Armin van Buuren (eighth with $17 million), Skrillex (ninth with $16 million), Kaskade (tied with Skrillex), and Steve Aoki (eleventh with $14 million). But a surprising artist closed out the list at the twelfth spot: former Jersey Shore cast member DJ Pauly D, who had a career as a DJ before his run on the popular MTV show, earned $13 million last year.

Perhaps most notable are the overall earnings of the artists: Tiësto's $22 million was enough to secure the top spot last year, but that money is now overshadowed by each of the top four in this year's list.

 

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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