Calvin Harris tops list of 2015’s highest-paid DJs with annual earnings of £40m – see full list

David Guetta and Skrillex also rank highly on Forbes' annual list

Calvin Harris has topped Forbes’ highest-paid DJs list for 2015.

The business publication unveiled its rundown of the top earners in the electronic music scene yesterday (August 24), with earnings estimated based on “income from live shows, endorsements, merchandise sales, recorded music sales and external business ventures”.

Harris – who, with girlfriend Taylor Swift, recently beat Beyoncé and Jay Z to earn the ‘highest-paid celebrity couple’ title – is reported to have made $66 million (£40 million) in the past 12 months.

Harris’ fortune trumps that of runner-up David Guetta, who is second with $37 million (£23 million). Tiësto, Skrillex and Steve Aoki complete the top five.

Others to feature in the list include Avicii, Kaskade, Martin Garrix, Zedd, Afrojack, Deadmau5 and Diplo. See the full rundown below.

1. Calvin Harris ($66 million / £40 million)
2. David Guetta ($37 million / £23 million)
3. Tiësto ($36 million / £22 million)
4. Skrillex ($24 million / £15 million)
4 (tied). Steve Aoki ($24 million / £15 million)
6. Avicii ($19 million / £12 million)
7. Kaskade ($18 million / £11.5 million)
8. Martin Garrix ($17 million / £11 million)
8 (tied). Zedd ($17 million / £11 million)
10. Afrojack ($16 million / £10 million)
11. Deadmau5 ($15 million / £9.5 million)
11 (tie). Diplo ($15 million / £9.5 million)

Meanwhile, Calvin Harris recently came to the defence of Taylor Swift after ex-One Direction member Zayn Malik appeared to criticise her via Twitter.

Earlier this month (August 17), Malik retweeted a post that compared the stances of Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus on streaming and illegal downloading. The original tweet compared a quote from Swift (“I think there should be an inherent value placed on art”) with one by Cyrus (“I’ve made my money. If no one buys my album, cool. It’s fine”), captioning the images with “The difference is astounding”.

Harris soon took objection to what he perceived as an attack on Swift, tweeting to Malik in response: “You’ve made your money? Cool… fuck the 99% of musicians who depend on these services to survive right? Yeah fuck em”.


He then added: “If u don’t get what it means when a successful artist uses their celebrity to benefit every other musician and songwriter in the industry… stay out my fuckin mentions pls… While u kids are refresh voting teen choice awards there’s some poor fucker in a basement making your new favorite record trying to survive Meaning… stay out of things you don’t understand”.

Malik replied to the messages in a series of tweets: “ha you just made an absolute fool of yourself mate… you clearly didn’t understand what I just said either… so i suggest you calm your knickers before them dentures fall out… Oh and I write my own shit too dickhead”.

Harris soon backtracked on the feud, later writing to Malik: “All good, it was the quote not you personally mate… Best of luck, genuinely. You’ve got a great voice”.