Hot 100 Festival

Skrillex's 15 Most Priceless Music Moments

Skrillex photographed in 2014.
Jason Nocito

Skrillex photographed in 2014.

With his chunky black glasses and asymmetrical haircut, Skrillex is the most famous face of today’s EDM movement. Since leaving the screamo band From First to Last in 2007 and reinventing himself as a beat-slinging, bass-dropping, party-rocking producer and DJ, California native Sonny Moore has been at the forefront of the electronic boom. Over the course of six EPs, one studio album, and countless remixes and collaborations, he’s earned six Grammys and made dubstep a household word. He’s also helped to take club music to the arena, proving that dudes with laptops can rock out just like guitar players.

Like any genre figurehead, Skrillex has faced his share of criticism, though for every hater who labels his bold, skittering, sometimes abrasive sounds as “brostep” -- essentially dance music for frat boys -- there are thousands of fans that have had their minds blown by his glitch-tastic records and spectacular stage shows.

Skrillex’s live skills will be on display when he joins Nicki Minajthe WeekndJustin Bieber (his recent collaborator on the hit Jack Ü single “Where Are U Now”) and more at Billboard's inaugural Hot 100 Festival at New York's Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. Before the beats start to drop, take a look back at Skrillex’s most priceless moments and revisit the events that made him the king of dance music’s ever-growing empire.

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June 7, 2010: Sonny Moore launches his EDM career with the My Name Is Skrillex EP. With his emo days behind him, Moore solidified his electro-reinvention in the summer of 2010 by making his My Name Is Skrillex EP available for free download via MySpace. It became a viral sensation and caught the ears of Canadian producer Deadmau5, who signed Skrillex to his mau5trap label and tapped the upstart to join him on tour, setting the stage for future triumphs.

Oct. 22, 2010: Skrillex returns with the breakthrough Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. If Skrillex’s first EP positioned him to invade the mainstream with his squelchy dance jams, his second marked the moment he stormed the beach, laptop and MIDI controller in hand. Released on Deadmau5’s label, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites reached No. 49 on the Billboard 200 and topped the Heatseekers chart.

June 2, 2011: Skrillex drops remix EP More Monsters and Sprites, which climbs to No. 5 on Top Electronic Albums chart. Skrillex’s run of successful EPs continued with this seven-song set, which found him dabbling in reggae with “Ruffneck (Flex)” and letting four other artists take stabs at remixing the title track from his previous EP. The record gave Skrillex his second straight top 10 entry on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart, reaching No. 5.

More Priceless Moments: Justin Bieber Nicki Minaj

Aug. 17, 2011: Skrillex announces OWSLA. One major signpost of music-biz success is starting your own label, and with the launch of OWSLA, Moore made the leap from EDM upstart to entrepreneur. "Artists will be hand selected by Skrillex and the OWSLA team in an effort to unite under a cohesive theme of friendship and integrity -- as well as bass,” his publicist told Billboard at the time.

Feb. 12, 2012: Skrillex goes three for five at the Grammys. Skrillex walked away from the 54th Grammy Awards with quite a bit of hardware, nabbing best remixed recording honors for his take on Benny Benassi’s “Cinema,” as well as the best dance/electronica album prize for Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites and the best dance recording statuette for that EP’s title track. Alas, he lost best new artist to Bon Iver, but so did fellow Billboard Hot 100 Fest headliner Nicki Minaj -- and both are doing just fine.

Feb. 10, 2013: Skrillex notches repeat victories in all three Grammy categories. Another year, another set of gramophone statuettes for best dance recording, best dance/electronica album, and best remixed recording, non-classical. While Skrillex collected all three prizes before the Grammy telecast, his high-profile wins undoubtedly helped to heighten EDM’s profile. “It’s awesome to be part of electronic music,” he said at the ceremony, “and I’m so proud to be here today.”

Sept. 15, 2013: Skrillex and Diplo debut Jack Ü. Friends from way back, Skrillex and Diplo -- the producer and Mad Decent label boss behind Major Lazer and countless collaborations with big-name artists -- debuted six songs in the San Diego sunshine. It was the world’s first taste of the trap-influenced sounds the pair would explore on their full-length debut.

March 17, 2014: At long last, Skrillex makes his full-length debut with Recess. Leaked via an arcade-style videogame app called Alien Ride, Skrillex’s first proper studio album brought together dancehall acts (Ragga Twins), rappers (Fatman Scoop), fellow EDM heavies (Kill the Noise), and Jack Ü partner Diplo for a typically brash record of big hooks and booming beats. Recess reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200, Skrillex’s highest placement to date.

Oct. 11, 2014: Let's Make a Spaceship documentary premieres at the Austin City Limits Festival. As the title suggests, the Red Bull-produced film Let’s Make a Spaceship follows Skrillex as he and his team create the elaborate Star Wars-esque centerpiece for his 2014 Mothership Tour. The 36-minute clip also shows Moore skateboarding, strumming along with Ramones tunes, and being the regular dude he is when he’s not melting minds from inside a giant spacecraft.

Buy tickets for Billbaord's Hot 100 Fest, featuring Nicki Minaj and more, at

Billboard Hot 100 Fest