By Akshay Bhansali
For the second year in a row, results of the DJ Mag “Top 100” poll, electronic dance music’s most accepted gauge of an artist’s worldwide popularity, has leaked days before its scheduled announcement. The past few months have seen a number of EDM artists — from plucky newcomers to heavyweight veterans — campaigning vigorously online for fan votes. The magazine says half a million fans from over 235 countries voted for their favorite DJ. Here are a few key highlights from the results.
» Dutch trance icon Armin van Buuren, came in on top again, with fans voting him the most popular DJ on the planet for the fourth year in a row. Not bad for an artist who for the majority of the year was locked away in his studio putting together his recently-released opus Mirage.
» In the past year, David Guetta has brought about an American house music renaissance, making dance music popular in the United States nearly by himself. With big hits with the Black Eyed Peas, Kid Cudi, Flo Rida, Rihanna and Kelly Rowland, it’s no wonder the fans voted him into the number two position.
» It should come as no surprise that Tiësto, the top DJ from 2002 to 2004, maintains his elite status. On the strength of high-profile campaigns with Sandisk and “DJ Hero 2” as well as his much-lauded Kaleidoscope album, fans voted him in at number three, making it nine years in the top three for one of the most dominant members of the EDM game.
» After the 2010 Winter Music Conference in Miami, the electrifying Joel Zimmerman forged ahead with a rigorous touring schedule — so much so he had to cancel a series of dates due to exhaustion. Fortunately, the man known to the dance universe as deadmau5 took a break and then hit the road even harder (highlighted by a stop off in Los Angeles to be the house artist at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards). Fans rewarded him with the number four spot.
» What a formidable year it has been for house heavyweights Swedish House Mafia. They signed a record deal with EMI, which they kicked off by putting out two monster songs (“One” featuring Pharrell Williams and “Miami 2 Ibiza” with British rapper Tinie Tempah). Their popular Ibiza, Spain party “Masquerade Motel” won an Ibiza DJ Award for Best Night (the group also won Best House Act). Individually, the fans voted each individual member — Axwell (number 10), Steve Angello (14) and Sebastian Ingrosso (16) — into the top 20 and awarded the new-to-the-poll collective the 23 spot.
» Lastly, we congratulate a youngster on the scene: Dutch bleepster Afrojack. Since we first caught up with Nick van de Wall at the WMC-closing Beatport.com party, Afrojack has come with it hard, delivering barrage of hits (including “Bangduck,” “Louder Than Words” with David Guetta and Niles Mason, his remix of Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” and “Take Over Control” featuring Eva Simons). Afrojack makes his DJ Mag debut at number 19.
DJ Mag will officially release the full “Top 100” results this Wednesday, Oct 27 at two parties in the U.K.: One at Ministry of Sound in London, the other at Sankey’s in Manchester.
What do you think of the rankings? Who would you have voted number one? Let us know in the comments!