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This Is How Calvin Harris Became More Powerful Than Justin Timberlake

According to FORBES, Calvin is the most powerful DJ in the world. Here's how he reached the top.

THUMP Staff

THUMP Staff

Pop dynamo Calvin Harris is still the king of all DJs. Last year, he topped FORBES' list of the highest-paid spinners in the world, and yesterday, the magazine announced that he's the most powerful one, too. He grossed $66 million since last June, and coupled with the strength of his "fame and impact"—we're not sure how FORBES measured such a metric, but whatever—he copped the 21st spot on the Celebrity 100 list, right behind Kanye. He also beat out pop icons including Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, 1 Direction, and Diddy, the latter of whom recently reached for his cut of the EDM pie when he enlisted Israeli producer Guy Gerber to collaborate on his next album. 

Avicii was the only other DJ on the list—apparently Tiësto, Skrillex, Guetta, Afrojack, and Deadmau5 didn't make enough bank or exert enough influence to compete with the likes of Oprah, Dr. Dre, or Celebrity 100 chart-topper Beyoncé. Looking back over the past year, it's easy to see how Harris made the cut: he toured relentlessly, started a residency at Las Vegas megaclub Hakkasan, headlined major festivals including Coachella and several EDCs, put out hit records, and produced tunes for international pop stars. We put together a list chronicling the biggest moments of Harris's year as a toast for those to come. Eat your heart out, Avicii.  

Ellie Goulding "I Need Your Love"

Although Goulding's Harris-produced single "I Need Your Love" was originally released on Harris's 18 Months album in 2012 and then again as a Goulding single in April of last year, it seems safe to say that Harris was collecting royalties for the hit throughout the last 12 months. After all, the track charted in in the UK, Australia, Austria, Finland, Sweden, and the States, and the video was nominated for British Video of the Year at the 2014 BRIT Awards. The album even earned a Grammy nomination. We know that the clip, which depicts Goulding and Harris cavorting around Miami with hearts in their eyes, probably doesn't accurately reflect their relationship (or does it?)—but either way, we can relate to a girl with a taste for DJs. Calvin Harris Live @ Cream in Ibiza

Like most top-dog EDM DJs, Harris spent a lot of time on the White Isle last summer, mostly at Amnesia's weekly party Cream. According to a New York Times article from last year, headliners at major Ibizan clubs can pull down about $130,000 per night, so a few appearances at Cream definitely boosted Harris's standing on the Celebrity 100. This one's from July 18. Calvin Harris & Alesso "Under Control"

Alesso debuted his collaboration with Harris, "Under Control," last August at Ushuaia in Ibiza, which was then broadcasted on BBC Radio 1. The duo teased the track for a few months, then released in October, yet it's still slated to be unleashed once again, this time as part of Alesso's forthcoming album.

Pitbull "All The Things" 

If the sunny chord stabs and ebullient vibes on Pitbull's track "All The Things You Do" sound familiar, that's because—you guessed it—Harris produced the track. The hallmarks of the Scot's style are pretty conspicuous here: The huge keyboards, the huger buildup, the power synths during the drop. Who could miss it?  

Rita Ora "I Will Never Let You Down"

We won't be surprised if you haven't heard of this one, simply because it was much bigger in the UK than it was in the States. The single, which Harris produced and will be included on Ora's forthcoming album, hit shelves in March, around the time Harris dropped his own megahit, "Summer." Perhaps it got overshadowed. Calvin Harris "Summer"

But then again, pretty much everything is getting overshadowed by this anthem these days.

Calvin Harris "Cuba"

And hey, here's his new single "Cuba," a big room tune primed for festie season

Calvin Harris @ Coachella 2014

Harris's influence obviously extends beyond the EDM universe, as his pop production credits demonstrate. But his influence in the mainstream was solidified earlier this year when Harris took over the decks at the festival's main stage. Calvin Harris @ EDC New York

A month after smashing Coachella, Harris headed to the East Coast to headline another colossal festival: EDC New York. He appeared on May 24, just a week before Forbes's cutoff, so we imagine he got another healthy serving of bank added to his account right at the last minute.

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