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Strip superstars: Las Vegas’ Top Five highest-paid resident DJs

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DJ David Guetta performs at Encore Beach Club in the Encore on Sunday, May 27, 2012. The crowd included DJ Tiesto (pictured here, left, with Guetta), Lil Jon, Reggie Bush and Adrianna Costa.
Photo: Erik Kabik/ErikKabik.com

New nightclubs Hakkasan Las Vegas at MGM Grand and the soon-to-be-opened Light at Mandalay Bay are raising the bar for nightlife in Las Vegas and elsewhere; they're also raising the paychecks for the world's top-earning DJs, all of whom have residencies here.

Just how much does the Strip's new class of headliners earn? We looked at sources including Forbes, Pollstar and Las Vegas' own megabucks DJ wars to see how much the EDM superstars made in 2012 — and what that might hold for 2013.

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      Tiësto

      2012 total earnings: $22 million

      Data service Pollstar found that the Dutch-born DJ, who just signed on to a residency at Hakkasan, earns around $250,000 per performance, adding up to a total in 2012 of $22 million.

      And that number may only grow, as Tiësto recently told Rolling Stone that he sees 2013 as the Year of Las Vegas for top DJs.

      "I'm going to dedicate my year to Las Vegas. Just Vegas, maybe a couple of festivals. I haven't decided yet," he said. "With the scene blowing up in America, Vegas is so much fun now. It's the right time to do it."

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      Skrillex

      2012 total earnings: $15 million

      The Grammy Award-winning wunderkind has come a long way from squatting in L.A. warehouses and hiding from $60,000 of debt accrued while fronting his old band, From First to Last. All the more impressive is this was less than three years ago. Today, the 25-year-old brings in $15 million per year, according to Forbes, and he recently parted ways with Surrender and XS in Steve Wynn's Encore to embark on a new gig with Light. One can only imagine what the next three years has in store for him.

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      Swedish House Mafia

      2012 total earnings: $14 million

      Though the Swedish trio officially called it quits in March, they’re still packing Las Vegas nightclubs with individual residencies: Steve Angello plays throughout the summer at XS and Encore Beach Club, and Sebastian Ingrosso will embark on his first-ever residency here as part of the debut headliner lineup at Light when it opens in May.

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      David Guetta

      2012 total earnings: $13.5 million

      Pop’s must-have producer is credited with bringing EDM into the mainstream thanks to hits he’s helmed including the Black Eyed Peas' “I've Got a Feeling” and Usher’s "Without You.” Combine that with endorsements from HP and Renault and a continuing residency at Wynn properties here, and it’s no surprise that the Frenchman took home $13.5 million in 2012.

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      Steve Aoki

      2012 total earnings: $12 million

      In recent years, Steve Aoki has transformed himself from indie underground king to EDM superstar. While he makes less money per gig than many of his peers, Aoki makes up for the gap in overtime, clocking more than 200 dates in 2012, according to Forbes, including resident gigs at Wynn properties. In 2013, Aoki joins the slate of the resident elite at Hakkasan.

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    Andrea Domanick is an award-winning reporter covering the behind the scenes stories of life in Las Vegas. Her work has ...

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