HOW BILLBOARD BLAZING CALVIN HARRIS ASCENDED FROM RECORDING BEDROOM DEMOS IN HIS NATIVE SCOTLAND TO BECOMING THE HIGHEST EARNING DJ IN THE WORLD AND THE FACE OF EMPORIO ARMANI
BY EVAN MONROE
BORN AND RAISED: Dumfries, United Kingdom, as Adam Richard Wiles
EARLY CAREER: Before winning Grammys, collaborating with Rihanna and Ne-Yo, and dating Taylor Swift, the aspiring DJ spent his late teens recording demos in his bedroom between shifts stocking shelves at the local supermarket. He spent all of his earnings on music production equipment.
BIG BREAK: He released a pair of singles in 2002 under the name Stouffer, but it wasn’t until Harris began posting his homemade recordings on MySpace that he began to turn heads. He was signed to label EMI in 2006 and released his debut album, I Created Disco, the following year, earning two Top Ten hits with “Acceptable in the 80s” and “The Girls.”
TOP HITS: 2011’s “We Found Love” with Rihanna went quadruple-platinum in the U.S. and was his first number one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. “Feel So Close” (2012) peaked at number 12, while “Summer” (2014) made its way to number 7.
NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In addition to being the highest earning DJ in the world for six consecutive years (2013-2018), the Scottish powerhouse is still considered the globe’s richest turntablist with a net worth of $300 million. He also became the first British solo artist to reach more than one billion streams on Spotify, broke Michael Jackson’s UK record with eight top 10 singles from one album, and nabbed a Grammy for “We Found Love.” Oh, and he became the face of Emporio Armani for its Spring/Summer 2015 campaign.
WHAT’S NEXT: financial report from Sony Records indicates a new album is in the works, but any details have been kept under wraps as of press time. In the meantime, fans can keep humming along to the smooth simmer of “Over Now” with Super Bowl headliner The Weekend.