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Armin Van Buuren reclaims World’s No.1 DJ crown

A true indication of a DJ’s worldwide popularity, or a meaningless survey which can be manipulated by those with the most ardent fan bases–whatever your view on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Poll Awards, the 2012 results published last week prove that it’s still the most-talked about honour on the dance scene.Winner for four consecutive years between 2007 and 2010, Dutch trance DJ Armin Van Buuren was dethroned by David Guetta last year, but took just 12 months to reclaim his title in the same week he released his A Year With… behind the scenes documentary.

Collated from votes in over 170 countries, the biggest music poll in the world sparked the usual debate about which DJs should and shouldn’t be on the list, but there was little outrage at the record-spinner in pole position.

Proving that hits count for little amongst voters, chart-dominator Guetta found himself pushed down to No.4, with veteran Tiesto climbing to No.2, and Avicii, buoyed by his Madonna-featuring set at the Ultra Music Festival, his sample on Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” and his own floorfillers “Silhouettes” and “Levels,” rose to No.3.

Reflecting the rise of the EDM movement in America, a fifth of the votes on the DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Poll Awards 2012 came from the States, which perhaps explains the huge leaps from Skrillex (19-10), Steve Aoki (42-15) and highest climber Porter Robinson (96-40), and why old guards such as Sasha, Fatboy Slim and Roger Sanchez failed even to make the Top 100.

But there were a few more surprising names higher up the list, too. A virtual unknown outside the club circuit, Dutchman Hardwell (#6) finished above the likes of his more commercially successful countrymen Afrojack (#9), Ferry Corsten (#22) and Fedde Le Grand (#26). Despite their continued absence from the scene, Daft Punk find themselves at No.44, while newcomer Nicky Romero (#17) achieved the highest new entry above the more celebrated Knife Party (#33), Zedd (#51) and Netsky (#95), the latter of whom is the only drum ‘n’ bass artist on the list.

Other positions of note include the only female act to be voted worthy of appearing alongside their male counterparts, Australian twins Nervo (#46). The biggest free-faller, Frenchman Bob Sinclar dropped a massive 61 places from 33-94, while Axwell won the battle of the Swedish House Mafia gang, finishing 23rd ahead of Sebastian Ingrosso (#34) and Steve Angello (#57), although the band itself ended up at No.12.

While it’s difficult to see anyone outside of the current Top 5 challenging for the top spot, it will be surprising if Calvin Harris (#31), Madeon (#54) and Dillon Francis (#109) don’t make more of an impression at the DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Poll Awards in 2013.

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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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