Welcome to the 2019 edition of the Billboard Dance 100 artist rankings. The annual franchise launched in 2018 and received incredible worldwide reception, hearing from 174 countries across all 7 continents. The Billboard Dance 100 has now received nearly a quarter of a million votes in total.
In addition to the fan poll, the Billboard Dance 100 results are 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.
Check out the 2019 edition of the Billboard Dance 100 ranking below.
100. Bob Moses
The Canadian live electronic duo released their sophomore LP Battle Lines, which hit No. 8 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums and sent a pair of singles to Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. (“Heaven Only Knows” hit No. 47, while “Back Down peaked at No. 28.) The album tour was set amongst festival sets at Lightning in Bottle, Holy Ship, Sundara and more. They’ll be joining RÜFÜS DU SOL on a string of dates this summer.
99. Lost Kings
The Los Angeles-based DJ/producer duo had a breakout year that’s led to their debut on the Billboard Dance 100. Released in the early days of 2019, their EP Paper Crowns debuted at No. 14 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums. The EP’s flashiest single “Don’t Kill My High,” featuring Wiz Khalifa and Social House, hit No. 21 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. Collaborations with Tove Stryke and Loren Gray also powered the duo’s first-ever North American headline tour, which featured more than handful of sold-out hard ticket dates.
After overcoming a rare brain disease in 2017, and releasing the Grammy-nominated album Lune Rouge (standout track “Rose’s Thorn” has nine million Spotify streams), TOKiMONSTA kept the hustle going last year. The LA resident collaborated with ZHU on his single “Light It Up,” also joining the producer’s extensive Dune Tour across the US. TOKiMONSTA’s new Ambré-assisted single, “Strange Froot,” sets the stage for her Bonnaroo and Electric Forest shows.
The sugary-sweet producer took a big bite of innovation on his Dream-weaving debut LP. Its 16 tracks are beautifully expressive and vulnerable, but it was his bouncy Marshmello collab “Therex2” that made the biggest splash, hitting No. 31 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. He supported the single with a 13-date theater tour across the US, and in 2019, he hits the road again hard in association with Monster Energy.
The Chicago producer dropped his Life of Wallflower Vol 1 EP and even scored a hit on the Hot Rock Songs chart for “Every Step That I Take,” a collaboration with Tom Morello and Portugal. The Man. He also collaborated with pop star Dua Lipa and joined Zedd on several shows.
95. Petit Biscuit
Bolstered by a big look at Coachella, his 2017 album single “Problems” featuring Lido hit the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart at No. 49. The French producer followed it with bouncy single “Suffer” and introspective B-side “Safe.” In the Fall, he brought his Presence tour to North America to 19 cities across 30 days. He also played Lollapalooza and HARD Summer.
94. Nina Kraviz
Who can say they DJed from atop the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China? Nina Kraviz is the only selector to bring avant garde techno to an industrial icon and a bonafide Wonder of the World. In 2018, she performed in more than 20 countries throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas, including a set at Tomorrowland. She also designed a collection with Ray Ban sunglasses, and released new tunes alongside a lost Richard D. James track and more via her label’s 20th compilation.
The Grammy-nominated house/techno duo released more than a dozen tracks and edits this year, including the hypnotic dancefloor weapon “Breathe” featuring Jem Cooke, which has spent more than 11 weeks on Dance Club Songs. “Panic Room” with Au/Ra also turned out to be a monster of a club track, racking up more than 40 million Spotify streams.
The raucous bass star pulled out all stops for his 2018 album Battered Bruised & Bloody, calling on Migos, Lil Pump (their team-up “i SHYNE” reached No. 49 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs) and the late Mac Miller. In November, Carnage announced a break from touring to focus on his mental health. He was back in the new year with the single “Letting People Go” (featuring Prinze George) and the Reincarnation Of Carnage tour.
Last year was a big one, filled with big names, for Belgian producer Netsky. He tapped Bazzi and Lil Wayne for “I Don’t Even Know You Anymore” (which spent five weeks on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, peaking at No. 26), along with David Guetta for “Ice Cold.” On the touring front, he performed at key festivals such as Tomorrowland, Electric Forest, New Horizon and more.
90. Jax Jones
The London-based house producer had a big hit with “Play,” an undeniable collaboration with Years & Years that’s amassed nearly 40 million plays on Spotify. The song spent four weeks on Hot Dance/Electronic songs, peaking at No. 34, and also got a deliciously funky remix from Purple Disco Machine. Jones toured extensively in Europe throughout 2018, and his 11-date US tour kicks off this April.
89. The Martinez Brothers
The familial techno twosome started 2018 with house legend Louie Vega on “Shut The Door,” then closed the year with the delightfully-weird Blessed EP, Pt 1 with surreal underground king Tiga. The duo is especially popular behind the decks, playing Annie Mac’s Lost & Found, Space Miami’s 24-hour Closing MMW Party, Movement in Detroit, many nights at Circoloco in Ibiza, and much more.
88. Felix Jaehn
The German house producer had a pair of Hot Dance/Electronic Songs hits with “So Close” — a collaboration with NOTD featuring Georgia Ku & Captains Cuts which peaked at No. 11 — and “Cool,” featuring Featuring Marc E. Bassy & Gucci Mane, which hit No. 35. Felix Jaehn has also becoming quite the ticket mover as well, selling out his album tour. The LP features Jasmine Thompson, Alex Aiono, Clara Mae and more.
In addition to big festival sets including Ultra and Tomorrowland, the Dutch duo collaborated with Moby on “Natural Blues” and David Guetta on “Your Love.” The latter spent six weeks on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, peaking at No. 19. Showtek continues to do the business on the live front, selling out rooms across the U.S. and Europe.
86. Lost Frequencies
In April, the Belgian DJ and producer dropped a curveball collaboration with James Blunt, “Melody,” which reached No. 47 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. After a successful live set on his own Lost Frequencies & Friends stage at Tomorrowland, he’s touring a new live show this fall, with eight stops in North America. While working on his second album, Lost Frequencies gave fans “Like I Love You,” featuring The NGHBRS, and “Recognise,” featuring Flynn.
The SoCal-based producer released an impressive 11 singles last year, playing them out on an extensive North American tour that included festival stops at We Are NRG and Nocturnal Wonderland. Deorro also held down a support spot on Steve Aoki’s Neon Future III UK tour.
84. Marco Carola
The Italian techno maestro kept his venerable Music On event brand going strong, continuing its longstanding Amnesia Ibiza residency, while hosting shows in Miami and at Las Vegas’ Art of the Wild underground event, and throwing another incarnation of its own two-day festival in Amsterdam.
83. Jai Wolf
While working on his debut LP, scheduled for release this spring, Jai Wolf kept it simple last year with stand-alone single “Lost,” featuring Chelsea Cutler. It’s been streamed more than five million times on Spotify. He also had a heavy festival year, though, with performances at Elements Lakewood, EDC Las Vegas, CRSSD Spring and Imagine. He now gets ready to embark on a headline tour with a slew of sold out dates at mighty venues like Shrine in Los Angeles and Terminal 5 in New York.
Following the Hot 100 crossover success of their feature on Sofi Tukker’s “Best Friend,” the Australian twins spent the 2018 summer bouncing between festival stages and the White Isle, with three Nervo Nation shows at Ushuaïa Ibiza. They welcomed 2019 with a new single, “Habit,” and the casual reveal that both sisters in the duo are pregnant. The new moms will still make it to Tomorrowland to host their own stage in July.
The affable Aussie has a big personality on social media, but his records somehow boom even larger across festival stages. In 2018, his hits “Crowd Control” and “Losing It” hit heavy rotation, the latter of which peaked at No. 22 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and earned Fisher a Grammy nomination for best dance recording. In 2019, he’s secured a residency with Wynn in Las Vegas, and landed a slot at Coachella.
80. Seven Lions
While playing 42 dates across North America on his The Journey II fall tour, Seven Lions also stayed on his studio game. “First Time,” his team-up with producers SLANDER and Dabin and vocalist Dylan Matthew, debuted at No. 43 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. Meanwhile, the genre-crossing artist released the Start Again EP with regular collaborator Fiora and started 2019 with a bass-heavy remix of Above & Beyond’s “Sahara Love”.
The house legend dropped “Back & Forth,” a massive house collab with Jonas Blue and London-based vocalist (and previous MK collaborator) Becky Hill. The track spent five weeks on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, peaking at No. 32. A 10-track remix package dropped in November, and featured edits from Treasure Fingers, Frankie Rizardo, Nightlapse and more. MK also toured extensively in Europe and North America, playing dozens of clubs shows and festival sets, with key shows including Tomorrowland, Creamfields and Defected Records’ New Year’s Eve bash.
78. Loud Luxury
The Canadian duo were relatively unknown in October 2017 when they released “Body,” featuring L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brando, but by that time in 2018, the summery single had become one the most-played electronic tracks of the year. With more than 450 million Spotify streams and prime placement from Apple Music during the early days of the record, the Juno-nominated single turned Loud Luxury into fast-rising stars, who’ve followed that success with “Love No More” (featuring anders) and a 2019 residency with Las Vegas’ Hakkasan Group.
77. Nicky Romero
The Dutch producer went big in 2018, releasing 10 tracks that included collaborations with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Steve Aoki. Romero and Aoki’s uplifting banger “Be Somebody” spent four weeks on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, peaking at No. 30. Key festivals sets included Ultra Singapore, Japan and Taiwan, along with Tomorrowland and Creamfields. In 2019, Romero has already dropped a pair of songs, including the David Guetta collaboration “Ring The Alarm.”
76. Cash Cash
In 2018, the trio had its highest hitting song on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart to date with “Finest Hour,” featuring Abir. It also reached No. 35 with “Jewel” featuring Nikki Vianna. Cash Cash held down a Las Vegas residency with Hakkasan Group, while also performing at both Coachella proper and Coachella Day Club.
75. Jonas Blue
Featuring big-name guests like Joe Jonas, Liam Payne and Jessie Reyez, Jonas Blue’s debut album, Blue, climbed to No. 6 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums. With the Jack & Jack-assisted single “Rise” spending 26 weeks on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, the producer clocked over 870 million Spotify streams in 2018. The Londoner also brought his “Electronic Nature” concept to Cream at Hï Ibiza every Sunday over summer.
The sax-playing producer once again raised money for Detroit Public Schools via his annual 12 Days of GRiZmas charity initiative, which also sold out two shows at Detroits’s Masonic Lodge. His Find My Own Way EP addressed gun violence with “A New Day,” a collaboration with Matisyahu.
73. Sofi Tukker
The New York City-based duo earned a best dance/electronic album Grammy nomination for their debut studio LP, Treehouse. The album also hit No. 5 on Top Dance/Electronic albums. Their Treehouse tour brought the duo on an extended run of dates throughout North America, along with festival stops that included Lightning in a Bottle and Lollapalooza Brazil and Berlin. “Mi Rumba,” a spare, sexy collaboration with ZHU, was released in early 2019.
In February, 3LAU dropped the album Ultraviolet on his non-profit label BLUME, proceeds from which went to cancer-fighting charities. Two singles hit the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart in 2018; “Walk Away” with Luna Aura at No. 42 and “Touch” with Carly Paige at No. 24. He supported the album with a North American tour, and in October, he held the cryptocurrency-fueled Our Music Festival (OMF) with Zedd, Big Sean and more.
The Brazilian star had a typically productive year in the studio, with highlights including “I Miss You” with Selva, “Metaphor” with Timmy Trumpet and, most recently, “All The Lies” with Felix Jaehn and The Vamps. In addition to regular bookings in his home country and across South America, Alok also featured alongside Kygo and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike at their respective Ushuaïa Ibiza residencies.
In June, the Canadian artist launched the label Slugz Music as a home for his own no-holds-barred sound. Its first release, the Snails and Kill The Noise team-up “Shake The Ground” (featuring Sullivan King and Jonah Kay), set the tone for the SLIMEAGEDDON EP in December, which recruited friends like Sirah, Adventure Club and Zeds Dead. Snails also launched The Shell 2.0 tour in fall, with over 45 North American dates.
While still at work on the “next era” he promised fans in late 2017, Madeon’s low-key year included a co-production credit with Lido on rapper Ric Wilson’s “No Hands”. Emerging on New Year’s Eve for a surprise set with LA crew Brownies & Lemonade, the producer will next play his “Shelter” collaborator Porter Robinson’s Second Sky Festival in June, before debuting a brand-new live show at Lollapalooza in Chicago.
68. Maceo Plex
By retiring his Ibiza residency “Mosaic By Maceo,” the multifaceted producer freed up more time for the studio in 2018. Ever prolific, he released the Mutant 2 EP on his new Ellum Black sub-label and the retrospective album 2000-2005 under his Mariel Ito alias. In November, he launched yet another label, MPLX, with the Mutant Romance EP, which kicked off the boundary-pushing 2019 Mutant tour.
Kayzo dropped his debut album OVERLOAD in January 2018 and supported the release with a nearly 40-date North American tour. It launched a year of cross-genre dance and metal collaboration, including a single with Underoath. We named his remix of Papa Roach classic “Last Resort” one of our favorites in 2018. The band joined Kayzo on stage at Lollapalooza. The DJ also played Ultra in Miami and EDC Las Vegas.
66. Big Gigantic
The festival favorites hit the circuit this year, with fest sets at Firefly, Outside Lands and Snow Globe happening amongst a run of club and theater shows. The eighth incarnation of their own festival, Rowdytown, returns to Red Rocks in September, with a lineup including The Funk Hunters, Two Friends and Kasbo. The duo also dropped “Like That”, a collaboration with NGHTMRE that extends their signature glitch funk sound.
The California-born producer digs deep into his Indian heritage to set his sound apart. In 2018, he released a handful of tunes, including the Asiatic pop of “House of Cards” with Sidnie Tipton and a very Mediterranean bounce on “Opa” with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. The big room sound of “Carry Me Home” with Jake Reese garnered him approximately 20 million Spotify streams. He also stormed the stage of Tomorrowland, Mysteryland and more.
64. Richie Hawtin
The Toronto techno legend brought his CLOSE audio-visual show to festivals like Barcelona’s Sónar and Amsterdam’s Awakenings. Meanwhile, his Japanese-inspired ENTER.Sake brand hosted takeovers around the world at locales like San Diego’s CRSSD Festival and Ibiza’s Destino. Hawtin further made his return to legendary Berlin institution Berghain for first time in six years, as well as confirmed plans for a new Plastikman album.
63. Oliver Heldens
Heldens dropped a trio of singles including “Fire In My Soul,” which hit No. 48 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs last spring. Another pair of tracks came from the Dutch producer’s more underground project, Hi-Lo, and he also continued his ongoing Heldeep shows series. Heldeep 250 provded to be a big success, selling out Avant Gardner in New York alongside special guests GTA, Valentino Khan and Drezo.
62. Adam Beyer
The Drumcode Records boss launched the first Drumcode festival last August in Amsterdam, with a lineup including techno heavies Nicole Moudaber, Joseph Capriati and his wife Ida Engberg. The festival returns this summer, with Beyer also locking in for a 2019 residency at Resistance Ibiza.
The mysteriously artistic producer released his sophomore album, Ringos Desert, which delivered its single, “Still Want U”, to No. 50 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. Together with the follow-up EP, Ringos Desert Pt. 1, the project extended his slinky, sexy sound. “Mi Rumba”, a collaboration with Sofi Tukker, also dropped in January. Big festival sets including Ultra Korea, Lightning In a Bottle and Holy Ship were placed amongst ZHU’s own Dune Tour and BLACKLIZT events.
While the LA-based producer has singles and remixes dating back to 2013, August 2018 saw the release of Jauz’s debut LP, The Wise and The Wicked. The ambitious 23-track concept album features collaborators including SNAILS, Krewella, Adventure Club, Ducky and DJ Snake. Jauz toured heavily this year, with key festival sets including EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland and Electric Zoo. His own Bite This! tour included sold out shows throughout the States, and he makes his Coachella debut in April.
59. Pretty Lights
The Colorado musician may not have released new music in 2018, but his heavy fan following in the live sector made him just as massive a presence as ever. He celebrated 10 years of performances at the breathtaking Red Rocks Amphitheater with two nights in August. He also teamed with streetwear brand Akomplice on a sweet pack of summer festival gear essentials.
The Norwegian dance-pop producer released his sophomore LP, One In a Million, in August. Featuring Enrique Iglesias, Noah Cyrus, The Vamps and more, the LP sent three songs into Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and hit Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Matoma’s music was streamed nearly 300 million times on Spotify alone, and his packed tour schedule put him in front of audiences throughout North America and Europe.
57. Black Coffee
Black Coffee only got stronger this year, moving audiences around the world with high-profile sets at venues including Terminal 5 and Tulum’s Day Zero, lending his deep house sound to David Guetta’s 7 and spending studio time with Diplo. The venerable South African producer also continued his Wynn in Las Vegas residency and released an EP titled Music Is King. “I’m at a space where I’m starting to create music that is not described or pigeonholed into a genre,” he said of this project, “and I feel music should be celebrated as music and not divided, ‘cause then it divides people; it divides their beliefs and their thoughts.”
56. San Holo
With massive 2017 single “Light” as a launch pad, San Holo continued his domination of the worldwide dance circuit, grinding on the road in North America, Europe and Asia. The Dutch producer, singer and guitarist is touring into the spring behind his 2018 debut LP, the aptly titled Album1, which peaked at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
The New York-based producer had a breakout year with the December release of Gravity Pt. 1. The first half of his two-part debut album delivered five singles to the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and peaked at No. 12 on Dance/Electronic Albums. Gryffin’s busy tour schedule included a flurry of sold out shows and festival sets, including Outside Lands and Electric Forest. In April, he brings his live electronic set back to Coachella. And Gravity Pt. 2 is set for a spring release.
54. Cashmere Cat
Cashmere Cat dropped one song in 2018, February’s “Miss You” with Major Lazer and Torey Lanez. It hit No. 10 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and garnered over 100 million streams on Spotify. He toured early in the year with frequent collaborator MØ, and played a few festivals around the world, including Life is Beautiful and HARD Day of the Dead.
53. Mura Masa
After his stellar 2017 debut LP, the Guernsey-bred producer played a singles game. He released three tracks throughout the year, including stark beat “Move Me” and fairy-like singalong “Complicated,” which each earned more than 9 million streams on Spotify. He kept up touring with stand-alone dates across the United States and international festivals including Melt in Germany and Dour in Belgium.
The Dutch mainstage duo continued their dip into related genres with trance thrill ride “The Light” and “Repeat After Me,” a truly mega-sized trance/hardstyle-inspired mainstage anthem produced with Dimitri Vegas & Like, and Armin van Buuren. The always prolific W&W also released a barrage of other singles in 2018, including “Rave Culture” and “Ready to Rave”, the latter track again featuring Armin van Buuren.
NGHTMRE started 2018 with his two-song Magic Hour EP in collaboration with upstart rapper Pell. He also dropped tunes with Big Gigantic, WAVEDASH and The Chainsmokers, the latter of which, “Save Yourself,” reached No. 21 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. He held a residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas, and launched the label Gud Vibrations with frequent collaborator SLANDER, with whom he also played Ultra in Miami, Lost Lands and Tomorrowland.
The celebrated beat-maker continued his Migration tour into 2018, including two sold-out homecoming shows at London’s Alexandra Palace. Switching between DJ mode and full live-band sets, Bonobo played over 70 dates last year, including U.S. festivals Camp Bisco and Electric Forest. His recent Fabric Meets Bonobo compilation for the iconic London club features “Ibrik,” his first release of 2019.
49. Robin Schulz
Schulz’s 2018 single “Right Now” with Nick Jonas hit No. 14 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, while “Oh Child” with Piso 21 reached No. 46. He was a resident of Pacha in Ibiza, played Tomorrowland’s main stage, and hosted the Robin Schulz & Friends pool party at Miami Music Week. Schulz also holds a residency with Wynn in Las Vegas.
Future house pioneer Tchami has helped globalize the genre since he first coined the term in 2014. The success of his 2017 No Redemption joint headline tour with Malaa led to their collaborative No Redemption EP, released on Tchami’s Confession imprint last April. As No Redemption, the two artists sold out mega venues like Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco and Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, in addition to closing out the live stage at Ultra Music Festival 2018. Tchami followed those up with a busy solo tour schedule that included his North American Confession tour last fall, plus festival performances at EDC Las Vegas, as No Redemption, and Spring Awakening.
The speedy producer wasted no time in 2018, swiftly following his 2017 debut album, Trouble, with the collaboration-heavy The Wave, which peaked at No. 10 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums last September. R3hab then kicked off 2019 with The Wave Tour, selling out concert venues across North America. He also found time to create a new high-sheen anthem, “This Is How We Party,” with Swedish duo Icona Pop.
46. Louis The Child
Released in October, the Chicago duo’s Kids At Play EP produced a trio of Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic tracks – “The City,” “Dear Sense” and “Better Not” – with the latter song peaking at No. 12. With features from artists including RAYE, Elohim and Big Gigantic, the nine-track EP extended Louis the Child’s signature sleek pop sound. Their touring footprint expanded in 2018, adding a bevy of sold-out shows to their résumé including Red Rocks, Terminal 5 (twice), Aragon Ballroom and more.
45. Jamie Jones
Underground kingpin Jamie Jones found rampant success with his Paradise brand in 2018. His global party series hosted one of the most talked-about residencies in Ibiza, while making memorable stops in Miami and Dubai. Meanwhile, Jones’ record label Hot Creations was responsible for some of the year’s biggest tech house hits, courtesy of rising artists like Rebuke and Flashmob. Jones further made notable DJ appearances everywhere from Coachella to Sunwaves in Romania.
44. Cheat Codes
The L.A. trio kicked off 2018 with a Jimmy Kimmel performance of their Fetty Wap collaboration “Feels Great,” ushering in a year of big singles like “Put Me Back Together” with Kiiara and “I Love It” with DVBSS. Their standout hit, however, was summer anthem “Only You” with Little Mix, which accumulated around 120 million streams on Spotify. The trio capped off last year with a debut residency at Wynn Nightlife in Vegas.
43. RL Grime
RL Grime may have built his name on trap, but the genre-curious producer’s sound has come to encompass everything from drum & bass and R&B to hip-hop and future bass, as heard on last year’s NOVA. His second album topped the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart, while four of its tracks landed on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. Following his 2018 Wynn Nightlife residency in Las Vegas, RL Grime enters 2019 with a confirmed performance at Bonnaroo and the launch of his new Sable Valley imprint.
42. Yellow Claw
After 2017’s Los Amsterdam made Yellow Claw a main stage act, the Dutch duo went global on last year’s New Blood. Recorded in California, Thailand and Holland, the album serves as a musical travelogue that captured their international touring and world-traveling lifestyles via sonically diverse collaborations with DJ Snake, A$AP Ferg and other global artists. New Blood peaked at No. 7 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart, while lead single “Summertime,” featuring San Holo, reached No. 39 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
The deep house maestro was seemingly everywhere in 2018, performing at festivals like Tomorrowland in Belgium, DGTL in Barcelona, and Sonus in Croatia. He even made an appearance as a character in Grand Theft Auto, in a special collaboration with Rockstar Games. His highlight of the year, however, was a performance from Théâtre Antique d’Orange in France: the live-streamed concert put on by Cercle has amassed nearly 10 million views on YouTube.
40. Dillon Francis
Dillon Francis returned to his moombahton roots in 2018 with the release of Wut Wut, his second LP and his first Spanish-language album, released via his newly launched IDGAFOS imprint. The Latin pop album secured nominations at the 2018 Latin Grammys and Latin American Music Awards for the music video for “Sexo,” which also inspired an online viral dance. This year, Francis teamed up with Alison Wonderland to release “Lost My Mind,” which peaked at No. 23 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, and launched a U.S. tour together named after the track. He heads to Coachella next month as a top-billed electronic act on night three.
The hypnotic trendsetter continued her rise toward the top of the electronic world with sets at premier festivals including Coachella, EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland and Lollapalooza, along with the release of her sophomore album, Certain Kind of Magic, on Mau5trap. The album hit No. 12 on Hot Dance/Electronic Albums and set up Rezz for a massive 2019, with key spring dates including a headlining spot on Australia’s five city Touch Bass festival and her second headlining set at Red Rocks — which, of course, she’s calling Rezz Rocks.
38. Don Diablo
The future house don began 2018 with two major projects: FUTURE, his second album and his first in a decade released via his Hexagon imprint, and HEXCOIN, his own cryptocurrency. Last year, his track “Survive,” featuring Emeli Sandé and Gucci Mane, peaked at No. 34 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart; it currently counts more than 15 million Spotify streams and more than 32 million YouTube views. Following big remixes for Panic! at the Disco and Mark Ronson, Diablo will debut his own HEXAGON stage at this year’s Tomorrowland.
37. Zeds Dead
The Canadian duo further established itself as a major festival draw, with top spots at this spring and summer’s Wobbleland, Electric Forest and their own Deadbeats 420 event. Their Deadbeats label is also behind some of the scene’s most boundary-pushing bass music, with low-end releases from artists including 1788-L, Wax Motif, LICK and Zeds Dead themselves.
36. Alison Wonderland
Alison Wonderland had a huge 2018, releasing her debut album Awake — which flew to No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Albums chart — and earning our Breakout Artist of the Year title. The Australian producer toured extensively behind the album, dominating in the U.S. and Australia. She recently wrapped a co-headline tour with Dillon Francis and is now gearing up for 2019 festival season, plus a headline show at Red Rocks which sold out in five minutes.
Denver producer Illenium almost single-handedly elevated the burgeoning melodic bass genre to the electronic mainstream. Following his 2017 breakout album, Awake, he landed on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart three times in 2018. Last year included a record deal with Astralwerks; festival sets at Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Electric Zoo and Austin City Limits, plus a debut Coachella performance; a headlining North American tour; a sold-out headline show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado; and a second year as a Hakkasan Group resident artist in Las Vegas.
34. Clean Bandit
The British dance-pop powerhouse enjoyed a spectacular year, highlighted by their second studio album, What Is Love? The album, which featured collaborations with U.K. stars like Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora, reached No. 1 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Meanwhile, the official music video for “Solo” with Demi Lovato accumulated over 560 million YouTube views.
33. Porter Robinson
The influential producer put his name brand on hold in 2018, choosing instead to focus on his hardstyle, trance and techno alias Virtual Self. The act made a surprise appearance on Holy Ship in January, then ran through a list of festivals including Ultra Miami, HARD Summer and Electric Zoo. The audio-visual presentation went on tour in September, and by the end of the year, breakout single “Ghost Voices” was nominated for a Grammy. He’s now prepping for his very own Second Sky Music Festival later this spring where he, along with Madeon, Cashmere Cat, G Jones and more will be performing.
32. Alan Walker
The British-Norwegian producer continued rising this year, with major festival sets at Coachella, EDC Las Vegas, Lollapalooza and Electric Zoo. Out in December, his debut album Different World features collaborators like Steve Aoki and Noah Cyrus, and includes his breakout hit “Faded,” which is nearing a billion streams on Spotify. This success helped push Walker into the lucrative Las Vegas circuit, with a residency at the Wynn announced earlier this year.
Dutch mainstay Afrojack dropped a barrage of singles over the past year, most of which were featured on his August EP Press Play, a 14-track collection released through his own Wall Recordings. Afrojack maintained his heavy tour schedule, playing in markets of all sizes, a few of which were off the traditional dance music circuit, with international shows from Tel Aviv to Dubai to Cairo (the latter city hosted his aptly named “Afrojack for the First Time in Egypt” show.) The producer also dropped “Sober,” a banner collaboration with Stanaj and Rae Sremmurd.
30. RÜFÜS DU SOL
Building on the run-away success of “Innerbloom” from its second album, the Australian trio poured its soul into follow up LP SOLACE to become one of electronic music’s top stories. The album peaked at No. 6 on the Top Dance/Electronic Charts and fed a tour with multiple sold-out shows at Brooklyn’s Mirage, the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles and Chicago’s Aragon ballroom, as well as headline festival spots at Electric Forest, Friendship and this year’s Coachella.
The Lawrence brothers returned in grand fashion in 2018, ending their musical drought with a slew of big singles. Highlights included “Where Angels Fear to Tread” and the Fatoumata Diawara-assisted “Ultimatum” — the latter of which was nominated for a Grammy for best dance recording. In addition to confirming work on the duo’s third studio album, Disclosure have more recently announced new festival dates for 2019, including California’s Lightning in a Bottle and Barcelona’s Sónar Festival.
28. Carl Cox
The hard-touring veteran spent 2018 at the helm of Ultra Music Festival’s house and techno brand, Resistance, handling both festival stages and standalone events from Miami to Buenos Aires. He also returned to his second home, in Ibiza, for the Resistance residency at Privilege — a gig he’ll pick up again in 2019. Along with multiple sets at this year’s expanded Ultra Miami, Cox closed out Wynn Nightlife’s recent Art of the Wild festival in Vegas.
Riding the success of their 2017 LP The Aviary, the Swedish duo kept a busy tour schedule this year, with major sets including Lollapalooza, Ultra Japan and Life Is Beautiful. Amidst all the traveling they maintained their ongoing Vegas residency at the Wynn and dropped “Bones,” a collaboration with One Republic that extends the duo’s signature bright, dance-pop sound.
26. Eric Prydz
In 2018, the progressive house titan presented one of his most ambitious projects yet: HOLO. The futuristic audio-visual show paired Prydz’s masterful DJ sets with cutting-edge holograms, debuting in a select European run that culminated with UK festival Creamfields. Prydz also delivered an array of releases under his various monikers, including a techno-laced Cirez D EP and a Beatport-topping Pryda EP.
Kaskade was as active as ever in 2018, headlining North American festivals like Moonrise, Electric Zoo, and Imagine, while receiving his seventh Grammy nomination for his remix of Kygo and Justin Jesso’s “Stargazing.” Meanwhile, his one-off singles, like “Tight” and “Fun,” garnered over 16 million streams on Spotify collectively, while his 2017 Christmas album received a dance-heavy revamp in the form of Kaskade Christmas Deluxe. Topping it off, Raddon’s own Long Beach festival Sun Soaked nearly tripled in size, growing to 32,000 fans.
Throughout 2017, Justice toured in support of third album, Woman, with a masterful amalgamation of all its albums remixed and reinterpreted into something greater than the individual parts. In 2018, the French duo released Woman Worldwide, a studio mixed version of many true live recordings to present the perfect rendition of the show. The tour concluded in November with a headline slot at HARD Day Of the Dead in L.A., and Woman Worldwide earned Justice the Grammy for best dance/electronic album.
Already a major solo touring force, Bassnectar upped the ante this year with the launch of Deja Voom, a four-day multistage festival created and curated by the man himself. Billed as a destination festival on the Mexican Riviera Maya, the festival sold out on its debut year. Deja Voom is the crown jewel on Bassnectar’s busy 2019 tour schedule, which launched with the Bassnectar NYE 360 event last December and includes upcoming festival performances at Coachella and Camp Bisco, in addition to the return of the three-day Freestyle Sessions series this summer in Colorado.
22. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Belgian sibling duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike kept a busy 2018 release schedule filled with hip-hop collaborations alongside legends like Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Gucci Mane, which collectively count more than 29 million Spotify streams and an additional 40 million views on YouTube. The duo also collaborated with Disney to launch a limited edition Spider-Man-inspired streetwear capsule collection last year and contributed music to the latest installment of the Mortal Kombat video game franchise this year. Following the release of their Tomorrowland 2018 EP, the duo returns to their hometown festival this summer and will also relaunch their residency at Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach, presented by Tomorrowland.
Hardwell took an indefinite hiatus from touring in 2018, but not before performing one final show at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam with Grammy-winning orchestra Metropole Orkest. Despite the hiatus, the Dutch producer’s musical output remained strong as ever, including singles “Anthem” with Steve Aoki and “How You Love Me” with Conor Maynard and Snoop Dogg.
After debuting his dinosaur-themed Lost Lands festival to a sold-out crowd of 25,000 bass-heads in 2017, Excision launched its West Coast edition, Bass Canyon, last August in Washington state. The sister festivals, which both return this year, together elevate Excision, already a major solo headlining touring force, to festival entrepreneur status. Beyond the stage, Excision self-released, via his Excision Music imprint, Apex, his fourth artist album, in 2018 as well as “Gold (Stupid Love),” a collaboration with Illenium featuring Shallows, the latter of which peaked at No. 19 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, his highest position to date.
In 2018, the Canadian producer successfully transcribed his catalog into an orchestral album that was performed at Los Angeles’ Wiltern. He released two compilation EPs via his label: mau5ville Level 1 and 2. The first EP included his Rob Swire collaboration “Monophobia,” which peaked at No. 19 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. His techno alias Testpilot got a big look at Electric Forest, while deadmau5 hit Spring Awakening, Global Dance Festival and EDC Japan, and a short tour in Europe.
18. Above & Beyond
Nearly 20 years into their career, Above & Beyond remain one of dance music’s most treasured artists. In 2018, the trio celebrated the 300th episode of their fan-favorite Group Therapy radio show, commemorating the milestone with a special one-off concert in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, their fourth studio album Common Ground debuted at a career-high No.3 on the Billboard 200, accumulating over 40 million streams on Spotify alone.
17. Axwell Ingrosso
Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso toured on the Ultra circuit, playing Ultra festivals in Miami, Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Mexico. They also released “Dancing Alone,” a sleek house jam featuring vocals from London-based RØMANS. They also kicked off their Swedish House Mafia reunion with Steve Angello at Ultra Miami and announced the group’s highly-anticipated 2019 return.
16. Armin van Buuren
Armin van Buuren continued to thrive on multiple fronts in 2018. From headlining major festivals like Ultra and Tomorrowland, to reinstating his Hï Ibiza residency on the White Isle, his world-class DJ sets remained in high demand. As a producer, he demonstrated versatility with tracks ranging from the chilled-out “Wild Wild Son,” to the hard trance-inspired “Ready to Rave.” Topping it off, his global radio show A State of Trance, which services some 40 million listeners in over 84 countries, reached its colossal 900th episode.
Alesso spent the past 18 months expanding his sound to new global and digital audiences. Since releasing his 2017 multiplatinum country-pop hit “Let Me Go,” with Hailee Steinfeld, Florida Georgia Line and watt, he’s collaborated with Brazilian Latin pop singer Anitta (“Is That for Me”) and infiltrated the gaming world via “Tilted Towers,” a single in partnership with gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins as part of Astralwerks’ Ninjawerks Volume 1 soundtrack. After debuting his chart-topping single “Remedy” on Good Morning America in 2018, Alesso sold out three nights at the Hollywood Palladium, in addition to headlining sets at Tomorrowland and Electric Zoo. He kicked off 2019 with major performances at EDC Mexico and the Venezuela Aid Live benefit concert.
The Australian producer kept a low profile in 2018, appearing in the Future Classic documentary and posting a series of Instagram posts showing him hanging with Diplo and in the studio with Nile Rodgers, Baauer and his dog. At the tail end of 2018, Flume teased new music, and just before Miami Music Week 2019 he released a genre-bending, 17-track mixtape called Hi This Is Flume. This summer, he’ll be performing at Lollapalooza, Osheaga and more.
13. Steve Aoki
Aoki released Neon Future III, featuring Lil Yachty, Mike Posner, Blink-182, Bella Thorne, Daddy Yankee and more. Six of the album’s singles landed on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, while “Waste It On Me” with K-Pop powerhouse BTS cracked the Hot 100. In 2018, he played Ultra Music Festival in Miami and Tomorrowland, plus held down a residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas. He opened a pizzeria in Los Angeles, announced a comic book, and released a song with his mom.
The Seattle duo continues to build on the success of its 2017 Grammy-nominated LP A Moment Apart, which sent three singles into the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart in 2018. Last year, ODESZA released a deluxe version of the album, with reimagined edits of the project’s four singles. Their track “Loyal” also received a big look in 2018, being featured in an Apple commercial. Major 2019 festival sets include Ultra, Lollapalooza Chile, Argentina and Brazil, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and their own Sundara event in Mexico.
Skrillex continues keeping his output diverse by releasing a massive remix of Travis Scott’s “SICKO MODE,” which helped propel the hit to No. 1 on the Hot 100. He reunited with From First to Last for a set at Los Angeles’ beloved Emo Nite, worked on the soundtrack for the video game Kingdom Hearts III, and landed a Vegas residency at Kaos, the new super-club at the Palms Casino Resort.
10. David Guetta
A dance-music staple for close to two decades, Guetta enters the top 10 this year thanks to a slew of streaming hits, including “Don’t Leave Me Alone” with Annie-Marie and “Like I Do” with Martin Garrix and Brooks. He furthered his crossover credibility as well, linking with A-listers like reggaetón superstar J Balvin and frequent collaborators Nicki Minaj and Sia for his seventh studio album, 2018’s 7. The 51-year-old also returned to his underground instrumental-house roots with a mixtape under his Jack Back alias.
Top Gig of 2018: His longtime Wynn Las Vegas residency was extended through 2020 in January.
Notable Stat: He landed five top 10 records on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart in 2018 — the most of any artist last year.
Outlook: “[Success is] talent 20 percent, work probably 70 percent and 10 percent of luck.” (Billboard, 2018)
9. DJ Snake
After appearing on Billboard’s cover last August, the 32-year-old bridged the realms of Latin, pop and EDM on the multiplatinum hit “Taki Taki” with Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B. The song debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, where it stayed for 13 weeks, and peaked at No. 11 on the Hot 100. Since then, he has snagged near-top billing on the 2019 Coachella lineup next to artists like Diplo and Rüfüs Du Sol.
Top Gig of 2018: He headlined the Billboard Hot 100 Festival alongside Future and Halsey in 2018.
Notable Stat: The Paris-born producer became the fifth artist in Spotify history to surpass 1 billion streams on two original songs: “Lean On” with Major Lazer and MØ and “Let Me Love You” with Justin Bieber.
Outlook: “I just want to show the kids in every ghetto in the world that we can make some hot shit. We can change the world.” (Billboard, 2018)
Over two decades into his career, Tiësto, 50, scored his biggest crossover hit yet with “Jackie Chan,” his platinum-certified collaboration with Dzeko that features Preme and Post Malone. Released through Tiësto’s own Musical Freedom label, the single spent two weeks atop the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart — marking the DJ-producer’s third career No. 1 on the list — and peaked at No. 52 on the Hot 100 and No. 15 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart.
Top Gig of 2018: His Hakkasan Group residency in Las Vegas, which began in 2013 and runs through 2020, continued drawing major crowds this year.
Notable Stat: Four of his tracks hit the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart in 2018, including “Boom” with Gucci Mane and Sevenn.
Outlook: “I don’t really make hits for Spotify and for the radio. I try to make hits for Tiësto.” (Billboard Radio China, 2018)
The Major Lazer mastermind, 40, launched two supergroups in 2018: His Silk City project with Mark Ronson landed a best dance recording Grammy in February for the Dua Lipa track “Electricity,” and LSD, his trio with Labrinth and Sia, has amassed hundreds of millions of streams ahead of its debut LP’s April release. On the touring front, Diplo knocked out a whopping 50 shows at Wynn properties XS, Encore Beach Club and Intrigue, and he recently embarked on tours across Asia and Africa.
Top Gig of 2018: He and Ronson debuted Silk City at the 2018 Governors Ball in New York.
Notable Stat: Also last year, he completed his quest to perform in all 50 states with shows in North and South Dakota, Montana and New Hampshire.
Outlook: “I’d rather work with somebody amazing that’s unproven than be a sit-at-home producer and just wait for my manager to set up a session.” (Esquire, 2018)
6. Martin Garrix
The Dutch producer, 22, made his fifth appearance on the Hot 100 in 2018 with the Khalid-assisted “Ocean,” which peaked at No. 78. He has continued to make waves in fashion, too, serving as the face of Armani Exchange’s fall campaign and partnering with men’s grooming brand AXE to launch its AXE Music platform and Garrix’s own limited-edition body spray.
Top Gig of 2018: He performed at the closing ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Notable Stat: During Amsterdam Dance Event in 2018, Garrix released five tracks in five days, played two sold-out shows to a total of 25,000 people and released his first photo book, LIFE=CRAZY.
Outlook: “I try to stay away from thinking in boxes when working… I think when creativity has no limits or boundaries, you come to the point where new sounds arise.” (Billboard, 2018)
The Norwegian producer, 27, earned two Hot 100 hits in 2018: “Born to Be Yours” with Imagine Dragons and “Remind Me to Forget” with Miguel, the latter of which came from Kygo’s 2017 Kids in Love LP. He also made executive moves: Amid a sprawling world tour, Kygo and his manager, Myles Shear, launched Palm Tree Records in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment with the goal of fostering new talent in electronic music.
Top Gig of 2018: The Kids in Love arena tour — 39 concerts in 20 countries — was his largest trek to date.
Notable Stat: He garnered 1 billion Spotify streams across 65 countries in 2018.
Outlook: “There is a lot of interesting stuff happening [in dance music]. It is great to be a part of helping create that new sound. As artists, we don’t have to feel limited by genre. We can do whatever we are feeling.” (PAPER, 2018)
The dance-pop hitmaker, 29, followed his Alessia Cara collaboration, “Stay,” with another certified smash: “The Middle” with Maren Morris and Grey, which peaked at No. 5 on the Hot 100 and earned three Grammy nods. His musical matchmaking continued with “Happy Now,” which spotlights rising singer Elley Duhé, and “365,” a collaboration with Katy Perry that the pair wrote after a joint tour of Australia.
Top Gig of 2018: His sold-out Zedd in the Park event attracted 16,000 fans to Los Angeles last July, while his Zedd on the Rocks show at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre in June will feature an all-new stage production.
Notable Stat: “The Middle” spent a record-setting 33 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
Outlook: “I’ve hated how people have put me in boxes my whole career. I’m a musician who enjoys making music.” (Billboard, 2018)
3. The Chainsmokers
Last year’s Billboard Dance 100 No. 1 artists, Andrew Taggart, 29, and Alex Pall, 33, scored six top 10 singles on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart including “This Feeling” with country star Kelsea Ballerini (No. 4) and “Hope” with Swedish pop singer Winona Oak (No. 7). The duo’s World War Joy arena tour with 5 Seconds of Summer will hit 41 cities across North America in the fall.
Top Gig of 2018: Headlined Ultra Music Festivals in multiple countries while holding down a club residency with Wynn Nightlife in Las Vegas.
Notable Stat: Their 2017 Coldplay collaboration, “Something Just Like This,” set a new record for most weeks atop Hot Dance/Electronic Songs: 79.
Outlook: “We want to keep putting out tons of music. We love the process of everything — even if we could slow down [on touring], we wouldn’t.” (Taggart, Billboard, 2018)
2. Calvin Harris
After the crossover success of his 2017 disco-tinged LP, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, the 35-year-old aced his return to house-inspired singles with two Hot 100 hits: the Dua Lipa team-up “One Kiss,” which shot to No. 26, and “Promises,” which features Sam Smith and peaked at No. 65. The latter earned him two BRIT Awards in February, for best British producer and British single — his first wins after over a dozen nominations. Now laser-focused on studio time and Vegas shows, Harris will play a few festivals this summer, including the United Kingdom’s Creamfields.
Top Gig of 2018: Hakkasan Group’s biggest DJ asset, Harris plays Vegas most Fridays at OMNIA Nightclub. His exclusive contract runs through 2020.
Notable Stat: “One Kiss” and “Promises” helped him tie Rihanna for most Dance Club Songs No. 1s in the chart’s history (12).
Outlook: “I’m very slow now. I used to spend my whole life in the studio, I used to churn them out real quick, but now I want to make everything perfect in my eyes. It takes a long time. Sometimes I’ll just go in the studio and listen to the song all day, not do anything and leave. I just think. And the next week I’ll think, ‘Yeah, maybe I needed to change the kick.’ ” (WWPW [Power 96.1] Atlanta, 2018)
The 26-year-old DJ-producer, still never seen without his signature white helmet, followed his second studio album, 2018’s Joytime II — his first No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart — with the blockbuster Bastille collaboration, “Happier,” which has spent 28 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 2. Ever prolific and genre-savvy, Marshmello began 2019 with the Hindi-language “BIBA,” featuring Indian stars Pritam and Shirley Setia. His latest win: signing an exclusive two-year residency at new Las Vegas super-club KAOS for $60 million.
Top Gig of 2018: In February, the avid gamer performed the first in-game Fortnite concert for his “Mellogang,” drawing over 10 million virtual attendees.
Notable Stat: Within a year of releasing Joytime II, his Apple Music exclusive Marshmello: Fortnite Extended Set became his second No. 1 on Top Dance/Electronic Albums.
Outlook: “It’s not every day you see something like Marshmello. You’re like, ‘Wait, what does [he] even do?’ You search and find [my] music.” (Billboard, 2018)
Contributors: David Rishty, Kat Bein, Katie Bain, Michael Sundius, Jack Tregoning, John Ochoa, Krystal Rodriguez