It's hard to deny how popular electronic dance music (EDM) has become over the last several years. What was once largely popular in Europe and Australia has made its way to the United States in a big way. Need any proof? In June, the three-day Electric Daisy Carnival brought more than 300,000 people to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There are many stars of EDM, but here’s a look at some of the biggest.
The stage name of Dutch producer and DJ Tijs Michiel Verwest, Tiesto is considered to be one of the preeminent EDM performers in the world. Though he rose to fame in the early part of the 2000s, it wasn't until his 2009 album Kaleidoscope where he found mainstream success. The record, which featured contributions from well-known stars such as Calvin Harris and Nelly Furtado, cracked the top 10 on iTunes.
Few contemporary artists have done as much for American EDM than Skrillex. While he initially broke into the scene as the lead singer of the band From First to Last, by the time they broke up it was evident he was destined for bigger things. After trying his hand at DJing, he earned a great deal of followers after the release of his second EP Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. In just four short years, the 24-year-old has risen from relative obscurity to be one of the biggest names in the music world and has three Grammy awards to his credit.
Instantly recognizable for his distinctive cartoon-mouse head and renowned for his one-of-a-kind live shows, Deadmau5 is arguably the biggest EDM superstar on the planet. Deadmau5, whose real name is Joel Zimmerman, has achieved considerable crossover success and is popular among music fans of all kinds. It's hard to imagine EDM without Deadmau5, and he has been seen performing everywhere from the 2012 Grammy Awards to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
While arguably one of the most popular DJs, Deadmau5 has come to the forefront for more than just his talent. Recently the DJ spoke out on his blog stating, “I just roll up with a laptop and a midi controller and 'select' tracks [and] hit a spacebar.” The star further stated, “People assume there's a guy on a laptop up there producing new original tracks on the fly. None of the 'top DJ’s in the world' to my knowledge have. Myself included.” Ouch!
So is Deadmau5 committing the ultimate sin by airing the dirty laundry of his genre? Maybe … but that wasn’t the artist’s only intention. It appears that the DJ sees the scene as having been too commercialized, and made his attempt to reveal the man behind curtain, so to speak. Regardless, it appears that the EDM scene is continuing to flourish, despite Deadmau5’s effort.
Still in his early 20s, Avicii has proven to be one of the biggest up-and-coming stars in the dance music scene. Thanks in large part to the popularity of the single "Levels," Avicii's popularity has grown by leaps and bounds in a short period of time and he even was one of the headliners of Miami's renowned Ultra Music Festival earlier this year.