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David Guetta

DJ & Producer
Published October 2018
By Paul Tingen

David GuettaPhoto: Nacho Dorado

David Guetta is the global superstar who brought EDM out of the underground and into the mainstream.

With two dozen Top 10 hit singles and three number-one albums since his international breakthrough in 2009, and 40 million record sales, David Guetta has an incredible track record. He’s been called “the godfather of EDM” and he’s played a crucial part in the genre’s staggering rise from underground and rather uncool origins to its status as one of the music industry’s main money makers: in 2017, the entire EDM market was worth an amazing 7.4 billion US dollars.

One explanation for its huge success is that it has crossed over into other genres, a development in which Guetta played a central role. Billboard called him “the man who almost single-handedly resurrected dance music in America”, and his influence is all over the amalgamation of pop, hip-hop, R&B and EDM that occupies a large part of the charts today, with instrumental, EDM-style drops often replacing the chorus as the main hook. Guetta once aptly remarked in an interview: “Not only did I cross over, my entire scene did.”

A Late Starter

Unusually, major success came when Guetta was already 20 years into his career, and he ended up shaping youth culture worldwide when he was already in his 40s. Born in 1967, the Frenchman spent his early professional years DJ’ing in clubs in Paris, only briefly stepping outside DJ territory in the ’90s by releasing two singles, neither of which made much impact. The tide turned in 2001, when he had a hit in Francophone countries with the single ‘Just A Little More Love’ (featuring Chris Willis), and a year later with his album of the same name. Over the course of 15 singles and two albums Guetta’s reach gradually became more international, and the tide turned to a tsunami with his 2009 megahit ‘When Love Takes Over’ (featuring Kelly Rowland, and co-written with Fred Rister). Guetta was 42 at that point.

Since then Guetta has been at the top of the hit parades with staggering regularity, with 57(!) charting hit singles to date under his own name, 22 of which went Top 10, including blockbusters like ‘Sexy Bitch’ (featuring Akon), ‘Sweat’ (featuring Snoop Dogg), ‘Dangerous’ (featuring Sam Martin), ‘This One’s For You’ (featuring Zara Larsson), ‘2U’ (featuring Justin Bieber) and ‘Flames’ (with Sia). His last three albums, One Love (2009), Nothing But The Beat (2011) and Listen (2014), were...

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Published October 2018