Some of the world’s best DJs are in their 40s and 50s, with DJ career length having expanded significantly since the 1990s.
As any music genre ages, eventually, one ends up with some key figureheads as representative. In a nutshell, this is what has happened across the popular genres that DJs call home.
In the 1960s, rock music was more or less still brand new. As rock grew up through the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and into today, new stars were created along the way but a lot of the older successes continued putting out quality music. A great example is the Rolling Stones. They still sell out massive 75,000-seat stadiums on a regular basis and the primary members are all in their 70s.
When we talk about the best DJs in the world, a lot of today’s technology is still new but the process of DJing has been around for decades.
The DJs that cut their teeth in the late 1980s or 1990s haven’t disappeared, despite the prominence of a new crop of DJ talent. Quite the contrary, they are some of the most successful and profitable DJs in 2023.
An audience of 20-somethings may not know they’re listening to bangers from a guy in his 40s or 50s but, in some cases, they are.
DJ venues have exploded, as have dance festivals and EDM music-making tech. Even pop music’s borrowing so much from DJs in order to make a buck and add to their popularity. Here is a short list of some of the world’s oldest DJs who are still at the top of their game and selling out venues in Canada, US, Europe, and all over.
Steve Aoki: The Highest Grossing Electronic Dance Music Artist In North America
Steve Aoki is 45 years old and has been producing tracks since the late 1970s although you’d never know it based off his recent output.
Still on top of trends and going strong with chart success after chart success, Steve Aoki is an absolute machine. Aoki also proudly runs his Dim Mak Records and continues feeding the EDM market with his signature sounds. Thus far, he has released 7 studio albums and, in 2019, published his memoir “Blue: The Color of Noise”.
He is considered the highest-grossing EDM artist in North America based predominantly on his touring schedule.
David Guetta: More Than 14 Billion Streams Globally & 65 Million In Single Sales
David Guetta is 55 years old, boasting one of the most impressive DJ careers to date with more than 10 million albums, and 65 million singles sold worldwide.
He’s been active in the DJ community since 2001 and as the genre has grown, so has his reputation. He’s won the #1 DJ in the world in DJ Mag’s annual countdown in 2011, 2020, and again in 2021.
David Guetta is regularly referred to in EDM media as the ‘grandfather of EDM’ for these reasons.
Tiesto: Voted The Greatest DJ Of All-Time And He’s Still Going
Tiesto is 54 years old and is considered to be one of the best – if not, the best – DJ in the last 3 decades.
Like David Guetta, Tiesto has been referred to by the similar nickname ‘Godfather of EDM’. Since 1994, Tiesto’s produced dozens of award-winning collaborations and, in 2004, became the first DJ to ever play live at the Olympics.
Tiesto just released his latest record “Drive” in April 2023 and continues to perform DJ sets all over the world.
Fatboy Slim: Popularized Big Beat In The 1990s And Is One Of Britain’s Top DJs
Fatboy Slim, the man behind the 1990s-era hit “Praise You”, is still going at age 59. He popularized big beat in the 1990s and has undergone various collaborations with established artists from a wide variety of genres.
He continues to release albums, remixing tracks from A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Groove Armada, and others.
Although Fatboy Slim’s never been able to duplicate the worldwide success of “Praise You”, his recent 2013 single “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” reached #1 on dance charts in select countries.
Carl Cox: One Of Britain’s Best House & Techno Club DJs
Carl Cox is 60 years old and is a huge influence on contemporary house music, electronica, and DJing.
Carl Cox is not a name that gets included alongside others on lists in mainstream publications but that’s only because he keeps a lower profile. Carl Cox continues to tour across festivals like Ultra and Tomorrowland, introducing audiences to his unique stylings.
He’s widely known for his residency at Space Ibiza from 2001 to 2016, his DJing at BBC Radio 1, and for his “Global” podcast.
Giorgio Moroder: The Father Of Disco, Euro Disco, & Electronic Dance Music
Italian composer, songwriter, and DJ Giorgio Moroder is 83 years old and easily the world’s most well-known senior DJ still going.
Giorgio is also a songwriter and a record producer, dubbed the “Father of Disco”. Moroder’s contributed to 1970s disco-era records from Donna Summers and others, released the first electronic live-to-digital record in 1979, collaborates with Daft Pink, and still performs.
No one has had the career Giorgio Moroder has. Not just as a DJ but as a musician as well. He’s had an amazing career.
Why DJs Are Having Lengthier Careers Than Hip-Hop Artists, Rock Bands, & Pop Stars
A DJ’s career length has no end. It’s not an activity that requires as much physicality as a pop singer, it’s not a genre so fixated on the appearance of the artist like hip hop and rock music, and DJ tracks have proven to be timeless.
No matter how old you might be or where your career’s at, as a DJ, you can always bring it back with a dazzling hot track.
To find out the latest best DJs and to learn more about the latest trends, be sure to check out the top 10 techno DJs of 2022!