Last month, Billboard asked dance and electronic music fans across the world to make their voices heard in the first-ever Billboard Dance 100 artist rankings. You answered loud and clear with nearly 180,000 votes representing 174 countries and every continent.
In addition to the fan poll, the Billboard Dance 100 results were informed by both domestic and global charts statistics (streaming, track sales, album sales, and radio airplay) and touring data (show capacities, festival bookings, and residencies), which Billboard’s editorial and charts departments weighed to provide a holistic ranking of the genre’s diverse talents.
Billboard’s staff focused on each artist’s achievements over the past year, while also taking into account their previous history and context. They also employed the classification for acts who would chart on our Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Top Dance/Electronic Albums charts as a baseline for eligibility, and exercised discretion to ensure the ranking remained relevant to the dance/electronic music community.
“The Billboard Dance 100 fills the need for a holistic, data-driven ranking of dance music’s diverse range of talents,” says Matt Medved, Billboard’s Director of Dance and Electronic Programming. “From hit makers and club curators to hard ticket-movers, all successful artist models will find a home here.”
Did your favorite artists make the cut this year? Check out the inaugural Billboard Dance 100 ranking below.
In his quest to keep #RealDJing alive and well, A-Trak hosted the inaugural Goldie Awards in New York, where a sold-out crowd of 1,800 fans at Brooklyn Steel watched 16 DJs and producers, chosen from hundreds of online submissions from around the world, battle for supremacy. On the festival front, the star turntablist was billed on HARD Summer, Lollapalooza, Electric Forest and more.
Always an underground favorite among beat heads, this L.A.-bred producer overcame a deadly brain disease to reach her greatest professional heights yet. She retaught herself how to make music and gave fans the critically acclaimed Lune Rouge LP, the follow-up to 2016’s Fovere EP, which reached No. 24 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Album singles “Rose’s Thorn” and “Don’t Call Me,” with Yuna, have garnered more than 3 million streams each on Spotify.
Kayzo’s fusion of hardstyle and trap, along with his high-octane performances, have created a cult following that now packs rooms by the thousands. He made a special appearance during DJ Snake‘s closing set at Ultra Miami in 2017 and has released a bevvy of festival heaters including “Whistle Wars” which has accrued 2.5 million-plus Spotify streams to date and earned the support of dance heavyweights like Marshmello and Diplo.
97. The Black Madonna
The Black Madonna wields her greatest power on the dance floor. Her 2017 tour schedule featured more than 100 gigs worldwide, including headline sets at III Points in Miami, Sónar in Spain and CRSSD in San Diego. Though her original works are rare, her 2017 single “He Is the Voice I Hear” brought her more than 1 million Spotify plays. She also holds a 2018 residency with BBC Radio 1.
Baauer, aka Harry Bauer Rodrigues, followed up his 2016 Aa album with fresh beats coming in the form or both remixes and originals, reworking songs by alt-J (“In Cold Blood”, which garnered 1.9 million Spotify streams) and Kodak Black (“Too Many Years,” with 3.6 million Spotify streams). He also dropped a two-track EP with A-Trak which was accompanied by a co-headlining tour.
95. Lost Frequencies
When Felix De Laet, better known as Lost Frequencies, released the single “Crazy” last December, it wasn’t just another mega-smash for the Belgian DJ and producer, reaching No. 38 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and 36 million Spotify streams. It was also the debut release on his new label, Found Frequencies — the latest victory in a year that included hosting his own Lost Frequencies & Friends stage at Tomorrowland and opening for The Chainsmokers on several dates of their Memories Do Not Open arena tour.
The 25-year-old producer fleshed out her glitchy electronic style in 2017 with “Secrets” and her Time Stops EP; her diverse range of sounds has since pivoted toward a more raw and vulnerable place with songs like “Notice Me” and “Bad For U” off her latest body of work, HOW TO MEASURE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOVERS?. Her upcoming sets include EDC Las Vegas, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and Movement Festival.
93. Cash Cash
Seasoned dance-pop trio Cash Cash slid into the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart twice in 2017 thanks to “Matches,” featuring ROZES, and “All My Love,” featuring Conor Maynard, the latter of which has raked in approximately 70 million streams on Spotify. The Jersey natives, signed to Big Beat Records, hold down a Las Vegas residency with Hakkasan Group and are slated to perform at Coachella in April.
92. Flux Pavilion
Dubstep veteran and Circus Records co-founder Flux Pavilion went “Around the World in 80s Raves” this past year, bringing along special guest Kayzo and other bass gurus. Following his crossover “Savage” collaboration with Whethan and MAX in 2016, which is currently nearing 50 million Spotify streams, he dished out a handful of melodic dubstep tracks like “Pull The Trigger” and “Dynamite” that put his vibrant style on full display. He’ll be headlining Kansas City’s Dancefestopia in September alongside Zeds Dead, Illenium and more.
House music veteran MK (Mark Kinchen) has been climbing the charts this past year with his upbeat, youthful jam “17,” which has chalked up 50 million-plus Spotify streams to date. The record has been a popular pick for dance radio and has been on Dance/Mix Show Airplay for 10 weeks (and counting). On the remix front, he’s done official reworks for some of pop’s finest in 2017 including Rihanna, Clean Bandit and Tove Lo.
90. Sofi Tukker
Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern of Sofi Tukker have had a stellar year with “Best Friend” leading the charge. The single landed a key sync by becoming the soundtrack for Apple’s iPhone X commercial and earned the eclectic dance-pop duo its first Hot 100 hit. “Best Friend” has been Shazam’d over 3.5 million times and gathered 30+ million Spotify streams. They’ve since released a new original titled “Baby I’m A Queen” that puts their edgy, rumbling sound on full display.
89. Jai Wolf
Jai Wolf may be a couple years separated from his 2015 breakout single, “Indian Summer”, but that didn’t stop the indie-electronic artist from selling 25,000 tickets on his headlining Kindred Spirits tour in fall 2017. He also supplied his fans with the Kindred Spirits (Remixes) EP featuring remakes from Kasbo, Party Pupils, Hotel Garuda and more. Upcoming festival appearances include EDC Japan, Camp Bisco and Sasquatch.
88. Nicky Romero
DJ, producer and Protocol Recordings boss Romero earned more than 25 million streams on his pop-laden collaboration with Cheat Codes, “Sober,” but made sure to engage his core fan base with gritty floor-stompers like “Only for Your Love” and “PRTCL.” His Wynn nightlife residency has strengthened his presence in Vegas while his longstanding history with powerhouse festival brand Ultra has brought him to their prestigious stages in Japan, Mexico, Bali and more.
87. Nicole Moudaber
The Mood Records head rocked more than 100 club-craving crowds in 2017, including sets at BPM in Mexico, Movement in Detroit, EXIT in Serbia and Tomorrowland in Belgium. In 2018, Nicole Moudaber has announced performances at CRSSD, Lightning in a Bottle and Awakenings, so far. She also recently passed Episode 200 of her weekly award-winning show, In The MOOD.
86. Martin Solveig
Solveig’s crossover dance single, “All Stars” with Alma, marked the French act’s seventh entry on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart and has gained more than 70 million plays on Spotify. On the live front, Solveig held down a 19-date residency at Pacha Ibiza last summer, embossed with his My House brand. He’ll be performing at Balaton Sound Festival this July alongside The Chainsmokers, David Guetta, Martin Garrix and more.
85. Jax Jones
Jones’ infectious, pop-laden house beats have caught the streaming world by storm — “You Don’t Know Me,” featuring RAYE, launched the English producer into the spotlight and accumulated 330 million-plus Spotify streams. He then merged musical worlds on “Instruction” with Demi Lovato and Stefflon Don, though his highest-charting single on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs to date is his latest release, “Breathe,” with Ina Wroldsen.
84. Steve Angello
After releasing his solo debut album, Wild Youth (No. 4, Top Dance/Electronic Albums) in 2016, it seemed that former Swedish House Mafia member Angello wanted to focus on more bite-sized musical efforts. He released three EPs — Genesis, Inferno and Paradiso — in the latter half of 2017, which combined for more than 12.3 million on-demand streams. As it turns out, all of the EPs’ six tracks are part of Angello’s forthcoming album, HUMAN. Angello’s 2017 festival performances include Coachella, Ultra Brasil and Creamfields.
Following the former duo’s split, the now one-man act re-emerged in 2017 with “Back Again” (3.1 million on-demand streams), a collaboration with Mayhem and Waka Flocka Flame. On the live front, Floss traveled the United States for his In Hi-Def tour, performed at festivals including EDC Las Vegas and Mysteryland, and in December embarked on an Asian tour. So far this year, he has resumed his ongoing Wynn Las Vegas residency and released a Dillon Francis collaboration called “Tern It Up” (No. 24 on Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales).
82. Dash Berlin
The trio — DJ Jeffrey Sutorius, with producers Eelke Kalberg and Sebastiaan Molijn — returned with its first studio album since 2014, We Are (Part 2), with standouts like “Without the Sun” (11.6 million streams on Spotify) and “Gold” (12 million streams on Spotify). Meanwhile, it continues to headline festivals across the globe, from The Flying Dutch to Ultra festivals in Mexico, Singapore and the flagship spectacle in Miami.
81. Marco Carola
Napoli native Marco Carola’s name has become synonymous with the muscular brand of techno he has cultivated at his multinational Music On event residencies. He remained an Ibiza highlight for a sixth straight year and touched down stateside in 2017 for a monthlong Miami residency and shows in New York and Los Angeles. “[It] was supposed to start as a label and the events were supposed to be promotion,” Carola told Billboard in February. “One thing led to another.”
The Australian twin DJ duo landed a big feature on Sofi Tukker’s “Best Friend,” which peaked at No. 81 on the Hot 100 in January. The sisters continue to be a staple in Las Vegas as Hakkasan Group residents, but do plenty of international travel. 2017 festival appearances included Airbeat One in Germany, Kingsland in the Netherlands and Lollapalooza in Chile. They also dropped a slew of collaborations including records with Chief Keef, DVBBS and Quintino.
79. Seven Lions
Seven Lions took listeners on a melodic journey in 2017 with his 8-track EP, Where I Won’t Be Found, which peaked at No. 25 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums. The California native also sold out a flurry of shows with Tritonal and Kill the Noise on their joint Horizons tour, packing key rooms like Echostage in D.C., Palladium in L.A. and Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco.
78. Jonas Blue
Rather than release an album of new material, London-based DJ/producer Jonas Blue put out what’s essentially a greatest hits package for his debut: Jonas Blue: Electronic Nature: The Mix 2017. It includes the song that put him on the map, 2015’s remix of Tracy Chapman‘s “Fast Car,” alongside some new hits, like the breakout “Mama,” featuring William Singe. The song peaked at No. 6 on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart and has nearly one billion total streams across Spotify and YouTube.
3LAU had a standout year on the Billboard charts thanks to his debut album Ultraviolet (32.3 million on-demand streams), which debuted at No. 7 on Hot Dance/Electronic Albums earlier this month. From the LP, he scored three additional appearances on the chart this year (marking nine overall): “On My Mind,” featuring Yeah Boy (No. 14, Dance/Mix Show Airplay); “Walk Away,” featuring Luna Aura (No. 20, Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales); and “Touch,” featuring Carly Paige (No. 11, Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales). Performances at EDC Las Vegas and Billboard Hot 100 Fest were icing on the cake.
GRiZ stayed relatively silent on the new music front last year, riding the wave of his 2016 album, Good Will Prevail (No. 2, Top Dance/Electronic Albums). Much of 2017 was spent out on the road, including an LP-supporting Good Will Continue North American tour and festival stops at Spring Awakening, EDC Las Vegas and Paradiso. In September, he released his Chasing the Golden Hour Pt. 2 mixtape, which amassed 3.2 million on-demand streams. Forthcoming dates include the Indy 500, Lightning in a Bottle, Electric Forest and back-to-back nights at Red Rocks.
The mainstage Dutch duo returned to its trance roots in 2017 with the launch of its side project NWYR, debuting it at Ultra Miami on Armin van Buuren‘s stage, A State of Trance. W&W released numerous singles on van Buuren’s label, Armada, collecting 25 million-plus total streams on tracks including “Whatcha Need” and “Put Em Up.” They’ll be making the rounds with EDC this year, performing in Shanghai, China and Tokyo, Japan.
KSHMR kept busy in 2017 with the launch of his Dharma Worldwide record label and a headline tour in India, where the venue capacities scaled from 8,000 to 15,000 people. The Indo-American producer also teamed up with MARNIK and The Golden Army to create the official anthem for Sunburn, one of Asia’s largest music festivals. Let’s not forget the launch of his very own record label, Dharma, which is home to “Islands”, his R3hab collaboration which is nearing 10 million Spotify streams.
After headlining Life in Color Miami’s 10th anniversary festival in January 2017, Carnage continued to fill his rolodex with rap and dance stars. His joint EP with G-Eazy, Step Brothers, charted on the Billboard 200 and peaked at No. 81. He also released a collaborative EP with Young Thug entitled Young Martha. Let’s not forget Carnage’s RARE concert series which has enlisted star acts like Wiz Khalifa, Marshmello and more.
Brazil’s top DJ commands a fervent fanbase in his home country, and the rest of the world is starting to see why. In 2017, Alok achieved his first global hit in “Hear Me Now,” with Bruno Martini and Zeeba, which peaked at No. 20 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, and played festivals from Belgium’s Tomorrowland to Tampa’s Sunset Music Festival. He’s had a strong start to the new year with “Fuego” which has over 100 million total streams.
The Yousaf sisters dug into their cultural roots in 2017 with New World Pt. 1, a 7-track EP that soared to No. 27 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums and served as the precursor to their New World tour. The 28-date U.S. road trip featured standout plays in New York, Detroit and Chicago, bringing along special guests like Party Favor, Shaun Frank and Crankdat. Krewella also released collaborations with R3hab and Yellow Claw.
70. Oliver Heldens
In 2017, Heldens looked to build on the chart success of his 2016 collaboration with Tiësto, “The Right Song” (featuring Natalie La Rose; No. 7 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay; No. 22 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs), and he did just that. Heldens released tracks such as “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” (19.3 million on-demand streams) and “Ibiza 77 (Can You Feel It),” plus a contribution to the Essential Mix under his HI-LO alias. His high-profile festival appearances included Ultra, Electric Forest and Tomorrowland’s main stage. Heldens also nabbed two DJ residencies at Hi Ibiza and Marquee Las Vegas.
69. Black Coffee
When he’s not lending his productions to Alicia Keys and Drake (or performing at Diddy’s exclusive Ultra Miami after-party), Black Coffee can be found hosting high-profile residencies at Hi Ibiza and preparing his newly announced Wynn Las Vegas debut this summer. He became the first South African DJ to perform at New York’s iconic Apollo Theater earlier this month, and still enjoys icon status in his home country.
68. San Holo
The Dutch DJ and producer sold over 43,000 tickets in North American alone in 2017 and created plenty of music to keep fans coming back for more. His standout single, “Light,” soared to No. 13 on the Hot Dance/Electronic chart and stood atop the SiriusXM BPM airwaves for eight straight weeks. The song now has more than 130 million total streams. San Holo also kept an active in key international markets including China, India, the UK and Australia.
67. Maceo Plex
The Barcelona-based U.S. transplant is a true double threat, headlining global festivals from Miami’s Ultra to Amsterdam’s Awakenings while finding time to produce nuanced albums like 2017’s Solar on his new Lone Romantic imprint. “When you write some listening music with a proper concept and message, it’s a deeper connection to the people,” he told Billboard in June.
The indie dance act had a strong 2017 featuring a hat trick of releases that visited Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic chart. His “Feel Good” collaboration with Illenium and Daya soared to No. 17 with “Nobody Compares To You” peaking close behind at No. 20; the latter also received its very own Snapchat filter. Gryffin’s string of upbeat, guitar-laden releases also led to numerous sold out headline shows and noteworthy billings on upcoming festivals like Bonnaroo.
The enigmatic producer followed up his 2016 GENERATIONWHY album with a four-track EP that includes a noteworthy collaboration with Nero called “Dreams.” The dark and moody cut slid into the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart at No. 37. ZHU then dropped an official remix of Portugal. The Man‘s 2017 hit “Feel It Still,” which has approximately 10 million total streams. You can find him at Electric Forest and Lightning In A Bottle later this year.
Life for SNAILS has come a long way since his feature on Jack Ü’s debut album in 2015. In the last year, the “vomitstep” producer has collaborated with heavyweights like NGHTMRE, Big Gigantic and Waka Flocka Flame, all of whom appeared on his debut album, The Shell (9.7 million on-demand streams). SNAILS followed up the LP with his first full-production tour, spanning 48 dates across North America. He also sold out his first mini-festival, Sluggtopia, at Red Rocks, which is scheduled to return in October.
Twenty-three-year-old Madeon earned great success with his indie electronic collaboration with Porter Robinson, “Shelter.” The record, which has amassed over 100 million streams since its release, helped fuel a 40+ date live tour that began in 2016 and drove into April 2017. He gave an update to fans in November, saying, “I’ve been working non-stop on my next era for a while now, I love it…I’ll show you next year!”
62. Adam Beyer
The 41-year-old Swede has emerged as one of techno’s few bona fide headliners, presiding over his prestigious Drumcode label and international event brand. 2017 saw Beyer headline Awakenings Festival’s 20th anniversary edition in Amsterdam and become a fixture on Ultra Music Festival’s global Resistance event series, touching down in Brazil, Colombia and Croatia.
If one word summed up NGHTMRE’s 2017, it’s “collaboration.” The “Gud Vibrations” purveyor linked up with Dillon Francis, Ghastly, Carmada, PNB and Wiz Khalifa across various releases, including a NGHTMRE Pt. II EP that has collected more than 9.3 million on-demand streams. Over the summer, he and Slander staged a Gud Vibrations takeover at Southern California’s NOS Events Center (10,000 capacity). His tour dates included a new Vegas residency with Hakkasan Group, plus major festival showings at EDC (Las Vegas and Orlando), Ultra, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Shambhala. Next month, he’ll help ring in the inaugural EDC China.
60. Nicolas Jaar
The enigmatic Chilean-American artist followed up 2016’s critically acclaimed Sirens LP by dropping dance floor-friendly compilation 2012-2017 earlier this month under his Against All Logic (A.A.L.) alias with little warning or fanfare. Surprises aside, Jaar proved he’s still a potent live draw in 2017, playing four shows at New York’s Brooklyn Steel on a global tour that included major festival stops at Coachella, Panorama and Belgium’s Pukkelpop.
59. Big Gigantic
Big Gigantic didn’t release any new original music last year, save for a feature on Steve Aoki’s Kolony album titled “$4,000,000” that collected more than 8.7 million on-demand streams. However, it made up for it with a constant stream of live dates in support of its 2016 album, Bright Future. The Boulder-based duo was also a mainstay at several major music festivals across the United States, including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Life Is Beautiful and Electric Forest. It also successfully threw its sixth annual Rowdytown at Red Rocks, selling out the 9,925-capacity venue over two nights.
58. Louis The Child
Louis the Child’s journey has been a slow and steady climb up until a few years ago, when its career received a jolt thanks to “It’s Strange” featuring K. Flay. The Chicago duo has kept the momentum rolling since then with its Love Is Alive EP peaking at No. 17 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums and by having three singles land on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart in 2017. It has proven to be a festival favorite, too, with performances at Bonnaroo, Holy Ship, Austin City Limits and more.
The U.K. trio has engineered some of the most innovative electronic music of the past decade, including 2015’s Between II Worlds, which peaked at No. 1 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums. In 2017, the group collaborated with ZHU on “Dreams,” which has amassed nearly 5 million streams on Spotify since its release. Nero members Dan Stephens and Alana Watson recently revealed their brand new project, The Night.
Jauz dove head-first into 2017. After embarking on an Off the Deep End tour, the L.A. bass-bringer launched his Bite This! label, released his Off the Deep End Vol. 1 compilation (9.4 million on-demand streams), and made his first appearance on any Billboard chart with “Meant to Love You” (No. 19, Dance/Mix Show Airplay). His 2017 festival reel included sets at Shambhala, EDC Orlando, Tomorrowland and Holy Ship — but perhaps the year’s biggest highlight was at EDC Las Vegas, where in addition to a solo set, he went back-to-back-to-back with Alison Wonderland and Diplo in a worldwide exclusive.
55. Richie Hawtin
The Windsor-born techno veteran is known for continually reinventing himself, and 2017 was no exception. The past year saw Hawtin unveil his new CLOSE live show at Coachella and bring the immersive audiovisual experience on the road through nine countries, including Argentina and Australia. The cerebral artist remains just as active offstage, continuing to develop his ENTER.Sake sake collection and investing in technology startups as an advisor for Plus Eight Equity Partners.
54. Mura Masa
Guernsey-born, London-based producer Masa was one of the year’s breakout stars. His collaboration-filled, self-titled debut album spent 14 weeks on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart, peaking at No. 6; and one of its tracks, the A$AP Rocky-featuring “Love$ick,” garnered more than 196 million on-demand streams and spent 20 weeks on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. The LP also picked up two Grammy nominations for best dance/electronic album and best recording. In a status-cementing move, Masa was selected to be part of the current crop of BBC Radio 1’s resident DJs.
French producer and Confession label head Tchami brought back his giant cathedral setup last winter for his massive Prophecy tour spanning 32 cities and venues across North America. His Revelations EP, released in August, has totaled nearly 22 million on-demand streams to date. Shortly afterward, he teamed with Malaa on “Summer ‘99,” and an 11-date tour called No Redemption, which will also be the name of their new EP out this spring. Also forthcoming for Tchami are bookings at Chicago’s Spring Awakening and EDC’s China debut.
52. Cashmere Cat
The savvy producer’s debut album, 9, features The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and several other A-listers. The LP climbed to No. 4 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums and has accumulated more than a quarter of a billion Spotify streams. His 2018 is off to a great start thanks to “Miss You” with Major Lazer and Tory Lanez which climbed to No. 10 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs this past February. The record is also closing in on 50 million Spotify streams.
51. Jamie Jones
Jamie Jones’ in-demand tour schedule — performing at the likes of Ultra Miami, Time Warp, Coachella, EDC Las Vegas and Awakenings — has elevated the U.K. DJ/producer within his field. His lucrative Paradise brand has expanded globally beyond its Ibiza origins in cities like Miami, Los Angeles, New York and will soon arrive at the Wynn Las Vegas for a summer residency. The Hot Creations boss has also kept busy on the music front, with recent releases like “Melodic Phase,” a shuffle-ready remix of Tiga’s “Woke,” and the Kooky Music EP.
50. Pretty Lights
The bass-funk ambassador embarked on a live Episodic tour, hitting popular outdoor locales including the Gorge Amphitheater and Red Rocks, as well as festival stops at Camp Bisco, Moonrise, and Life is Beautiful. He also launched the Pretty Lights Movement, an expansion of his Pretty Lights Music label into “a social platform based on collaboration and inclusion.” On the release front, he made his first songs chart appearance on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs with “Rainbows & Waterfalls” (No. 47).
The veteran band has been fairly quiet since 2010 but ignited longtime fans with hope following their dynamic performance at Ultra Miami in 2016. At the top of 2017, the group announced their return and hit a flurry of festivals including Ultra sets in Korea, Japan and Singapore. Pendulum is now in the midst of rolling out The Reworks, a remix album dedicated to their classics. The group’s members Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen of Knife Party also performed around in world in 2017, touching down in Estonia, Portugal, Finland and more.
The Norwegian producer has become a streaming favorite over the years, keeping momentum in his favor in 2017 with sun-kissed jams like “Party On the West Coast,” featuring Snoop Dogg, and “All Night” with British pop rock band The Vamps. The latter went on to climb up the Canadian Hot 100, peaking at No. 72. Matoma has also kicked off year two of his Hakkasan Group residency in Las Vegas.
Bonobo kicked off 2017 with the release of his sixth studio album, Migration, which debuted atop the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart and earned a Grammy nod. The album track “Bambro Koyo Ganda,” featuring Innov Gnawa, also received a nomination for best dance recording. Additionally, the U.K. artist was a consistent presence on the festival circuit, performing at Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle and III Points.
46. RL Grime
RL Grime has been one of trap’s greatest purveyors, but his success is indebted to his openness toward incorporating new sounds. He nabbed his biggest hit with “Stay for It,” a minimal tune with maximal grandeur featuring soulful vocals from Miguel. It was part of his second chapter of creativity on the 12-track album Void. RL Grime returns to his Wynn Nightlife resident in Vegas alongside dance elites Kygo, DJ Snake, Marshmello and more.
The Hamburg-based deep house titan took his popular Solomun +1 Ibiza residency global in 2017, powering through a relentless touring schedule that saw him bring the blossoming event brand to New York, Los Angeles and Miami while gracing global festival lineups from Coachella to Time Warp. His Diynamic label remains a trusted alternative dance tastemaker as well, lending its platform to rising talents like Karmon and HOSH over the past year.
44. Alison Wonderland
Alison Wonderland‘s sophomore LP Awake is due April 6 and has fans buzzing off her recent output — “No,” “Church,” and “Happy Place.” Wonderland’s festival tour, Scarehouse Project, also made a massive splash in Australia this past year and brought our high caliber acts like A$AP Ferg. She has her large-cap headlining U.S. tour coming this summer and will be festival stops at Spring Awakening, Bonnaroo, EDC Japan, Coachella and more.
43. Robin Schulz
German DJ/producer Robin Schulz continued to make waves in 2017, starting off the year by opening for Justin Bieber across three nights in Mexico City for the singer’s Purpose tour. He also released his third studio album, Uncovered, which features collaborations with David Guetta, Cheat Codes and James Blunt, among others. The LP has amassed more than 724 million on-demand streams to date, and one of its tracks — the Blunt team-up “OK” — soared to No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart in a first for both artists. This year, Schulz will continue his Las Vegas residency with Wynn Nightlife.
42. Yellow Claw
Yellow Claw told Billboard they wanted to stop “compromising” with its second studio album, Los Amsterdam. The result was some of its biggest chart numbers ever. The album landed at No. 143 on the Billboard 200 (its highest spot yet) and No. 3 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. It was also a year with a record number of Hot Dance chart-toppers for the Dutch duo, including “Both of Us” (No. 24), “New World” (No. 29), “Open” (No. 39) and “Good Day” (No. 40) from its new album, and a collaboration with Steve Aoki — “Lit”, from his record Kolony — that reached No. 34 on the Hot Dance chart.
Illenium is a true multi-threat. The future bass DJ/producer’s 2017 album, Awake, peaked at No. 3 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums, and he has sold out everything from Los Angeles’ Shrine to San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, which hold 6,300 people and 8,500 people, respectively. He also performed at over 40 festivals in 2017. 2018 marks his second year as a Hakkasan Group resident in Las Vegas.
There are a multitude of reasons as to why R3hab landed on our list of dance artists who dominated in 2017. Trouble, the first studio album by the Dutch DJ, landed at No. 9 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums, with an impressive five Hot Dance/Electronic Songs-charting singles, including “Ain’t That Why” (No. 23) and “I Just Can’t” (No. 22). He also toured extensively in Europe and Asia, building on his already loyal fanbase in China with a 13-show tour of the country.
This 22-year-old, LED goggle-wearing producer has become one of the most in-demand dance acts on the live circuit, having recently sold out headline shows at Echostage in D.C., Concord Music Hall (twice) in Chicago and The NOVO in L.A., to name a few. Her debut LP, Mass Manipulation, caught the ears of many as it broke the top 20 Dance/Electronic Albums chart, peaking at No. 16 in October 2017.
38. Cheat Codes
The dance-pop trio’s A-list record “No Promises,” featuring Demi Lovato, earned them 350 million-plus Spotify streams, a live performance on Good Morning America, and a spot on the Hot 100, peaking at No. 38 in October 2017. Cheat Codes have kept the momentum going with radio-friendly records like “Feels Great” featuring Fetty Wap & CVBZ, along with “Put Me Back Together” tagged by Kiiara.
37. Dillon Francis
Just days after releasing his single “Say Less,” a collaboration with G-Eazy that garnered 20 million-plus Spotify streams and 5 million-plus YouTube views, the L.A.-born Francis announced his split from Columbia Records and the launch of his own label, IDGAFOS (named after his 2011 hit). The now independent DJ hasn’t suffered from going it alone; his new single “Hello There” hit No. 17 and No. 29 on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs charts, respectively.
36. Don Diablo
Diablo’s futuristic brand and Hexagon imprint have cultivated an incredibly loyal fanbase that has attended sold-out shows in Berlin, Manchester, New York and several other major cities around the globe. Diablo made a couple visits to the Hot Dance/Electronic chart in 2017 thanks to the success of “Take Her Place” with pop-rock band A R I Z O N A, as well as “Momentum, the former of which peaked at No. 23 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.
35. Zeds Dead
The Canadian duo continues to pack cornerstone venues to the brim including Red Rocks in Colorado, Navy Pier in Chicago, Wamu Theater in Seattle and many more. In addition to helping give up-and-comers like Kid Froopy and DNMO in the electronic space a home with their Deadbeats label, Zeds Dead have also graduated to festival headliner status, topping the bills of Lost Lands, Minus Zero and more.
34. Porter Robinson
In 2017, Robinson wrapped up his joint Shelter Live Tour with Madeon, which criss-crossed North America, Europe, Australia and Japan and culminated in a main stage Coachella performance. The 25-year-old producer continues to push the envelope with alias Virtual Self, releasing an eponymous EP that signaled a return to early 2000s audio-visual aesthetics with a heavy URL-driven concept that’s been credited with saving Calvin Harris‘ love of dance music.
33. Alan Walker
Already a global star, the masked 20-year-old Norwegian DJ/producer launched his first North American tour last year, which included stops at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival and New York’s Electric Zoo. He also had an active year on the charts, including hits like “Tired” (No. 26 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, with 99 million views on YouTube) and “All Falls Down,” featuring Noah Cyrus (No. 11 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, 84 million views on YouTube). His remake of the 2015 single “The Spectre” currently has over 269 million YouTube views and 63 million streams on Spotify.
32. Carl Cox
The King of Ibiza retired his throne at the island’s landmark nightclub, Space, nearly two seasons ago, but has stayed relentless with his touring schedule. Among Carl Cox’s headlining gigs are multi-city stops for Ultra Music Festival, a recently announced return to Privilege Ibiza’s Resistance summer residency and a Factory 93 daytime affair in Los Angeles. His film What We Started is now in theaters all around the U.S.
British brothers Disclosure announced in early 2017 that they would be taking some time off from the road after debuting at No. 1 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart with Caracal (2015) and subsequently touring the world. That didn’t stop them, however, from bringing an all-star crew of artists to DC10 in Ibiza for their Wildlife residency, including the likes of Bicep, DJ Harvey and Annie Mac. With a new album in the works, fans eagerly await the next move from the Grammy-nominated duo.
In 2017, the Chicago-born DJ and producer had two projects break into the top 10 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart: Redux EP 002 (a sequel to 2014’s Redux EP) which reached No. 10, and Kaskade Christmas, which peaked at No. 8. In addition to headlining festivals like Middlelands, Lollapalooza, and EDC Las Vegas, Kaskade also debuted his Sun Soaked outdoor beach party in Long Beach, Calif., an all-day event featuring acts like SNBRN and Gryffin, to a sold-out crowd of 13,000. The party expanded to the East Coast this month for Sun Soaked Miami.
On top of releasing an 18-track remix album for his 2016 LP Virus, the Canadian producer and DJ debuted his dinosaur-themed bass festival Lost Lands. The sold-out Ohio-based festival rallied 27,000 rail-riders and brought a reported 400,000 watts of unrelenting bass, showcasing acts like Zeds Dead, Illenium and 12th Planet. A sequel is coming this year, as well as a Lost Lands for the West Coast dubbed Bass Canyon, which hosts its inaugural edition in August in George, Wash.
2017 was a big year of collaborations for Dutch DJ/producer Nick van de Wall. He joined forces with with David Guetta twice — “Dirty Sexy Money” with Charli XCX and French Montana, which accrued 80 million-plus Spotify streams, and “Another Life” with Ester Dean. He also linked up with Indonesian duo Mightyfools on “Keep It Low,” which became a favorite at Afrojack‘s live shows.
27. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
The Belgian brothers had two songs reach No. 1 on the Dance Clubs Songs chart in 2017, “Hey Baby” and “Complicated,” with a combined 140 million-plus Spotify streams and 80 million-plus YouTube views. For the fifth year running, they brought their massive four-day celebration, Bringing the Madness, to their hometown in Antwerp, Belgium. 80,000 fans packed the Sportpaleis Antwerp venue to watch acts like Jonas Blue, MTTN and an epic two-and-a-half hour set from the host duo, who performed on a floating stage in front of an almost 4000-square-foot LED wall.
26. Eric Prydz
Prydz may have released just one song, “Stay With Me,” in 2017 under his own name, but a few of his many aliases picked up the slack, from Cirez D’s new single “The Accuser” to ToNjA Holma’s self-titled four-track EP, released on Prydz’s label, Pryda Presents. The Swedish-born, L.A.-based producer/DJ kept busy on the festival circuit with crowd-pleasing sets at Barcelona’s Sonar Festival, New York’s Electric Zoo and Belgium’s Tomorrowland, and he still found time to debut his first-ever Ibiza residency at Hi Ibiza.
Galantis gave fans a killer follow-up to their debut album with The Aviary, spawning favorites like “Hunter,” “Pillow Fight” and “No Money,” its biggest hit to date at No. 7 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. The Swedes currently hold down a residency at Wynn in Las Vegas and look forward to sets at Lollapalooza Brazil, as well as shows in Colombia, Japan, Mexico and more.
The veteran French duo emerges from studio hermitage approximately every five years, and 2017 was a particularly strong return. What started in November 2016 with its third LP, Woman (No. 1 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums), continued with a live run full of festival looks at Ultra Miami, Coachella, Lollapalooza and more. Justice now has a slew of international bookings coming up in Germany, Dublin and Moscow to name a few.
The Swedish superstar (real name Tim Bergling) may have quit touring, but he’s far from retired. His latest, the six-track EP Av?ci (01), reached No. 70 on the Billboard 200, and its two singles, “Without You” and “Lonely Together,” hit the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart at No. 4 and No. 9, respectively. The EP has collected more than 750 million total streams. In an interview with Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1, Bergling said Av?ci (01) is “the first EP of three so the whole album will be released with the third EP.”
Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar, kept his loyal bassheads happy this past year with two new EPs, Reflective Part 1 and Reflective Part 2, which reached No. 5 and No. 8, respectively, on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. His two biggest shows of 2017 represented both ends of the spectrum, from the 30,000 fans who celebrated New Year’s Eve weekend with him at Lights All Night in Dallas, to the intimate-by-comparison 6,500 crowd at his inaugural Freestyle Sessions: Colorado, inspired by the ’90s-era rave parties of his youth, which was such a hit that Bassnectar is bringing the three-day festival back to Denver this summer.
21. Clean Bandit
This U.K. trio broke through to mainstream success with Grammy-winning single “Rather Be” in 2015, but the accolades didn’t stop there. “Rockabye” with Sean Paul and Anne-Marie took it to No. 9 on the Hot 100 in 2017. The radio smash was followed by “Symphony,” featuring Zara Larrson, which has more than half a billion Spotify streams to date. In October 2017, the trio dropped “I Miss You” with Julia Michaels; it went on to peak at No. 92 on the Hot 100.
20. Armin van Buuren
The trance ambassador continued his Armin Only Embrace Tour in 2017 while also juggling duties as a festival headliner and the host of popular radio show A State of Trance. With “Sunny Days” (featuring Josh Cumbee) and the Garibay-assisted “I Need You” (featuring Olaf Blackwood), Van Buuren further sharpened his pop instinct.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Van Buuren played each Wednesday from June through September at Ushuaïa’s new nightclub, Hï Ibiza.
Notable Stat: “Sunny Days” peaked at No. 43 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.
Outlook: “Trance might just be bigger than it has ever been, especially in the United States.” — Billboard, August 2017
The sharp-tongued Canadian producer took his Lots of Shows in a Row Tour across North America, making over 30 stops with his updated Cube stage show. He also celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his label, mau5trap, with a catalog-spanning compilation. His challenge for 2018: orchestral performances with composer Gregory Revert.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Deadmau5 kicked off the Lots of Shows in a Row Tour with four consecutive sold-out nights at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom.
Notable Stat: Featured in the video introducing the Cube 2.1 design, “Let Go” with Grabbitz climbed to No. 11 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs in January 2017.
Outlook: “She’s a comin’.” — Deadmau5 using Twitter, his favorite bullhorn, to confirm a 2018 album
Hardwell remained a main stage fixture in 2017, turning in 54 total festival appearances including multiple stops on Ultra Music Festival’s world tour and his own United We Are Foundation charity festival in Mumbai. He also released two collaboration-heavy Hardwell & Friends EPs, followed by a third volume in January.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: The Dutchman held down his Go Hardwell or Go Home residency at Las Vegas superclub Hakkasan through the year.
Notable Stat: “Creatures of the Night,” with singer-songwriter Austin Mahone, spent 15 weeks on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
Outlook: “I’m going to release different styles in the future, but I’m not changing any direction as Hardwell. I’ll keep playing the big room EDM you know me for.” — Billboard Radio China, September 2017
17. Axwell Ingrosso
The superstar team had a busy year of festivals, including main stage slots at Tomorrowland and EDC Las Vegas. Away from the confetti cannons and apart from the persistent Swedish House Mafia reunion rumors, the DJ duo launched a fashion line with designer Francesco Ragazzi and compiled their Axwell & Ingrosso singles into an album, More Than You Know.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Axwell & Ingrosso played select dates over summer at luxe open-air club Ushuaïa Ibiza as part of its Limited Edition series.
Notable Stat: The duo went to No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart with “I Love You” (featuring Kid Ink), followed by summer festival anthem “More Than You Know” hitting No. 13 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.
Outlook: “Dance music is such a force to be reckoned with. It’s been here a long time, and it’s going to keep being here.” — Axwell, Billboard at Miami Music Week, March 2017
The Swedish hitmaker stayed nimble in 2017, delivering “Let Me Go” with Hailee Steinfeld, Florida Georgia Line and Watt (No. 40 peak on the Hot 100), and “Is That for Me” with Brazilian pop star Anitta (No. 25 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs) in quick succession. He also signed on with new management, Shots Studios, who helped design the new stage production he debuted at two sold-out warehouse shows in Brooklyn earlier this month.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Last year marked Alesso’s sixth as a resident with Wynn Las Vegas, and he’s inked a deal to play XS and Encore Beach Club through 2019.
Notable Stat: “Let Me Go” spent 22 weeks on the Hot 100, with the official video clocking over 44 million views on YouTube.
Outlook: “I’m just jumping around a bit and trying different sounds, and I’m really having fun for the first time in a long time.” — Billboard, February 2018
15. Above & Beyond
Above & Beyond spent last year building its fourth studio album, Common Ground, which arrived in January. In addition to presenting the 250th episode of its popular Group Therapy radio show live at Seattle’s The Gorge Amphitheatre in September, the trance trio also captured its run of acoustic concerts at iconic venues like L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl and the Sydney Opera House in the documentary Above & Beyond Acoustic: Giving Up the Day Job.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: While Above & Beyond was a 2017 regular at Cream Ibiza and Hakkasan properties in Las Vegas, it stored energy for the 25-plus stops on the Common Ground North American tour.
Notable Stat: Common Ground debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart — the trio’s best showing yet.
Outlook: “We’ve always used acoustic instruments [in the studio], and at the same time we’re proper nerds who love technology.” — Paavo Siljamäki, Billboard interview at Miami Music Week, March 2017
The Australian beatmaker opened 2017 with a Grammy win for his second album, Skin, then spent the year playing marquee festivals like Bonnaroo, Governors Ball and Lollapalooza. He also lent music to a Greenpeace campaign, contributed to Lorde’s Melodrama standout “The Louvre” and released the Skin Companion EP 2.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Flume sold out Colorado’s 9,500-capacity Red Rocks Amphitheater in July as part of the Skin tour.
Notable Stat: Flume’s third team-up with Ku?ka, “Hyperreal,” peaked at No. 35 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs – not bad for a bonus track on his Skin Companion EP 2.
Outlook: “I’m at a good place now that I’ve got two [albums] under my belt. I feel quite free creatively.” — Billboard Radio China, March 2018
13. Steve Aoki
The superstar DJ, producer and label head had another busy year, clocking more than 200 shows around the globe, collaborating with the likes of BTS and Fifth Harmony‘s Lauren Jauregui, and releasing his fourth studio album, Kolony, which reached No. 5 on the Hot Dance/ Electronic Albums chart. He launched his Dim Mak fashion line in the United States (after four seasons exclusively in Japan) at New York Fashion Week, and Dim Mak Publishing signed a global partnership with Warner Music Group’s publishing arm. But success hasn’t gone to his head; he’s still quirky enough to share a stage with Céline Dion and perform lab experiments with Bill Nye on Netflix.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Aoki debuted both his new album and clothing line in Manhattan by shutting down a city block for an exclusive block party/runway show/live concert in July. The festivities included a marching band and special guests like Ma$e, and Aoki performing Kolony in its entirety.
Notable Stat: $500,000, the amount raised for the Aoki Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to brain research, at Aoki’s 40th birthday party/fundraiser, which include live acoustic sets by blink-182 in the living room of billionaire Ron Burkle.
Outlook: “I love working with everyone. Bands, hip-hop artists, pop singers, male and female vocalists, musicians, everyone. I don’t care about the genre; I don’t care if you’re a folk artist, country artist, rock artist, rhythm artist, R&B, hip-hop. I want to work with everyone that inspires me.” — Billboard, May 8
12. David Guetta
One of dance music’s original crossover kings still remains a force to be reckoned with. In advance of his forthcoming seventh studio album on Atlantic/Big Beat Records, the French trailblazer’s Justin Bieber-assisted single “2U” bowed at No. 16 on the Hot 100, and his “Like I Do” collaboration with Martin Garrix and Brooks debuted at No. 8 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: 35-date Wynn Las Vegas residency and a summer residency at Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel
Notable Stat: No. 4 dance artist on Spotify in 2017.
Outlook: “I think I was one of the first — actually the first — to crossover, really. Back in 2009 with records like ‘I Gotta Feeling’ and ‘Sexy Bitch’ and all of this. So obviously I’m not going to complain about [the crossover]. I come from an underground scene, but I always wanted our music to get bigger. So I think this is the result of work of hundreds of different DJs that have been, brick after brick, creating that big building, and now our music is as big as hip-hop or rock, and this is wonderful. I think it is the new pop music, to be honest. It’s also very interesting moment for us because it was almost like there was a format, and we couldn’t get out of it. Now, because it’s such a new time, we’re free to do anything we can dream and want to and we can really experiment.” — Billboard, March 2017
Skrillex took a well-earned break from the tour circuit in 2017, focusing instead on his nomadic music-making. In between skateboarding and the OWSLA pop-up shops, he made “Would You Ever” with Poo Bear, produced “Parachute” for newcomer NSTASIA and released his much ballyhooed remix of Kendrick Lamar‘s “HUMBLE.”
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: During a year of laying low, Skrillex made an exception for the raucous final club night at New York institution Webster Hall.
Notable Stat: With over 31 million views on YouTube, Skrillex and Poo Bear’s “Would You Ever” debuted at No. 16 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.
Outlook: “I’m just always out with my backpack and my computer, in and out of different [studio] sessions, catching vibes.” — Interview with Australia’s triple j radio, September 2017
ODESZA The Seattle electro-pop duo — Harrison Mills, 28, and Clayton Knight, 29 — released its first album in three years, A Moment Apart, last September and watched it debut at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, chart three tracks in the top 30 of Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and nab two Grammy Award nods.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: On Dec. 15, 2017, 19,000 fans packed Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the final stop on the act’s 2017 Moment Apart World Tour.
Notable Stat: Sold nearly 20,000 tickets for two nights at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in under three minutes.
Outlook: “We’ve always been trying to make soundscapes and cinematic music.” — Mills, in a 2017 Billboard interview
9. DJ Snake
The 31-year-old former graffiti artist and Paris-raised hitmaker brings a worldly range to the dance charts, as evidenced by his 2018 track, “Magenta Riddim,” which melded dancehall with South Asian music.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: In September, he debuted his Ed Sheeran-penned single, “A Different Way” (featuring Lauv), atop Paris’ Arc de Triomphe.
Notable Stat: Landed five tracks on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart in 2017, including “A Different Way” and “Broken Summer.”
Outlook: “I’m from the Paris you don’t see on TV. I represent the underdogs, the people that nobody believes in.” — Beats by Dre’s 2017 Above the Noise documentary
Revered by millions as a pioneer of dance music, Tiësto, 49, became the first DJ to play the Olympics, performing at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Games in Athens. Martin Garrix followed in his footsteps at the closing ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: His lucrative residency at Hakkasan Nightclub and Wet Republic was extended through 2020.
Notable Stat: Headlined 45 music festivals around the world in 2017.
Outlook: “I had a meet-and-greet … and one guy was crying when he saw me. It’s very overwhelming. It’s flattering as well, but it messes with your emotions.” — 2017 Billboard interview
The artist born Anton Zaslavski had a landmark year on the charts, thanks to the multiplatinum, Grammy-nominated “Stay,” featuring Alessia Cara, which topped the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart for seven weeks and rose to No. 7 on the Hot 100, the 28-year-old’s best showing as a lead performer until current hit “The Middle” with Maren Morris and Grey eclipsed it at No. 6.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: A yearlong Vegas residency with Hakkasan Group that began in January 2017 and has since been extended through 2020.
Notable Stat: International tour took him from Pune, India, and Shanghai in the winter to Chicago and Washington, D.C., in the fall.
Outlook: “I’ve never made bro-y music, in my opinion. I don’t think I’m good at it.” — 2017 Billboard interview
6. Martin Garrix
The 21-year-old Dutch DJ-producer and face of Armani’s fall 2017 collection landed two songs on the Hot 100 — “Scared to Be Lonely” and “There for You” — and won a two-year legal battle for rights to his music from former label Spinnin’ Records and MusicAllStars Management.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Spun as the debut resident DJ at Hï Ibiza, a new club that was formerly Space Ibiza.
Notable Stat: Over 1 billion Spotify streams in 2017.
Outlook: “I’ve had club residencies in Vegas over the last couple of years, and I always had to stay in my hotel room until someone escorted me to the DJ booth, then had to go straight back [because I was under age].” — 2017 Billboard interview
5. Major Lazer
On top of a headlining slot at Billboard’s 2017 Hot 100 Festival, the trio of Diplo, 39, Jillionaire, 39, and Walshy Fire, 35, released a new EP, Know No Better, with a title track that Billboard named one of the top 10 dance songs of the year. Up next: their long-anticipated fourth studio album, Music Is the Weapon.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Headlined and hosted Relief Is the Mission benefit concert for the Caribbean islands affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria. One hundred percent of the gross revenue went to disaster relief.
Notable Stat: Ten million subscribers on YouTube.
Outlook: “I shifted my goal to just make singles, because no one really buys our albums.” — 2017 Billboard interview with Diplo
The DJ-producer, 25, known for his all-white cylindrical helmet and garb, had his biggest year yet, with three songs landing on the Hot 100, most notably “Wolves,” his collaboration with Selena Gomez, which hit No. 20, as well as No. 1 for 11 weeks on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Headlined — and sold out — Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Notable Stat: Last August, his touring schedule brought him to nine countries in one week.
Outlook: “[Fame] is such a volatile situation, and it’ll usually change people for the worse. I’m happy not to be in that.” — 2018 Billboard cover story
Following his high-climbing Hot 100 hit, “It Ain’t Me” with Selena Gomez, last May, Kygo, 26, completed his evolution into a crossover arena star later in 2017 with his Kids in Love album and its subsequent world tour.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: A two-year Wynn Las Vegas residency that began in April 2017 and has included shows at XS, Encore Beach Club and Surrender.
Notable Stat: “It Ain’t Me” hit No. 10 on the Hot 100, becoming his highest-charting song to date.
Outlook: “Instead of just releasing single [after] single, it’s a fun challenge to make a full album of tracks that make sense together, as well as on their own.” — 2017 Billboard interview
2. Calvin Harris
The hitmaker shrugged off the EDM tag in 2017, applying his Midas touch to a slinky, star-studded pop album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. Thanks to a lucrative Vegas residency, Harris, 34, can afford to choose studio time over festival slots.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Exclusive Hakkasan Group partnership in Vegas, with close to 40 shows in 2017. Contract has been extended through 2020.
Notable Stat: Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 standouts “Slide” and “Feels” peaked at No. 25 and No. 20, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100.
Outlook: “I don’t care about hitting the figures, making the money or getting the chart positions anymore. I’m just going to make what I want to make.” — 2018 Beats 1 interview
1. The Chainsmokers
After reigning as Billboard’s No. 1 duo/group for 2017, savvy crossover stars Andrew Taggart, 28, and Alex Pall, 32, followed a Grammy nomination for best pop duo/group performance with a pair of earnest singles, “Sick Boy” and “You Owe Me,” built for the full-band bombast of their arena shows.
Top Gig/Residency of 2017: Signed a three-year U.S.-exclusive club residency with Wynn Nightlife in Las Vegas that runs through 2019.
Notable Stat: Ten billion global streams and 2 million concert tickets sold.
Outlook: “We have a very different story to tell than we have in the past.” — Taggart introducing “Sick Boy” on On Air With Ryan Seacrest in 2018
Contributors: Matt Medved, David Rishty, Kat Bein, Megan Armstrong, Jordan Diaz, Krystal Rodriguez, Eric Spitznagel, Michael Sundius, Jack Tregoning
This article originally appeared in the March 24 issue of Billboard.