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Respect: 50 DJs Over 50 Who Are Still Killing It

  • Respect: 50 DJs Over 50 Who Are Still Killing It

1. Giorgio Moroder (73)
Not only has this disco innovator/pioneer been enjoying a renewed interest in his career thanks to appearing on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, the maestro made his debut behind the decks at Output in New York City in May. And more gigs are in the works.

2. Annie Nightingale (73)
The BBC’s longest serving broadcaster, Nightingale might be old enough to have witnessed ’60s icons become international stars, but she’s been all about the dance floor and the underground for decades. Her appetite for bass seems to be insatiable, making her not only a national UK treasure but a proponent for young producers from all over the world.

3. David Mancuso (68)
The innovator of the invite-only Love Saves The Day loft party’s career dates back to the ’60s, Mancuso was innovating long before clubs became a global business. One of the most influential DJs of all-time, Mancuso never wanted to be a DJ, preferring to be viewed as a “musical host.”

4. Junior Vasquez (64)
From ten-hour sets at Sound Factory and Palladium in the ’90s to remixing everyone and later beating a potentially devastating addiction to crystal meth, Vasquez continues to spin and break new music in New York City.

5. David Rodigan (62)
One of the best-known reggae DJs in the world, Rodigan (pictured below) is one of the genre’s foremost purveyors of good riddims. Currently hosting a program on BBC Radio 1xtra, the master regularly tours all over the world.

David Rodigan

6. François Kevorkian (59)
Known for his flawless house signature and remixing/producing everyone in the ’80s and ’90s, his Wave Music indie imprint in tandem with his international DJ sets and Deep Space weekly in NYC keep FK quite busy.

7. Frankie Knuckles (58)
All hail the Godfather of House Music (pictured below)! One of the nicest guys in music continues to spread the gospel all over the world with his smooth, soulful grooves.

frankie knuckles

8. Kool Herc (58)
When Kool Herc started DJing in the ’70s in the community room of a residential building in The Bronx, he got the idea to isolate “breaks” on funk and R&B tracks, inadvertently helping to invent hip-hop. Having recovered from a serious illness, Herc is back in action and recently DJed at Central Park this month.

9. José Padilla (58)
One of the pioneers of the true sound of Ibiza and known for his brilliant Café del Mar sets and chillout compilations, 2013 marks the release of Padilla’s Binary Sun project and 40th year as a DJ.

10. Nicky Siano (58)
Though he’s traveled the world bringing house music to the masses, Siano started his DJ career at home in NYC as a teenager, DJing at club meccas like The Loft and Studio 54. These days he continues to spin and hosts a popular podcast.

11. Arthur Baker (58)
Known for his production work in the ’80s with Afrika Bambaataa and New Order, Baker doesn’t DJ too often these days while dividing his time between London, Ibiza and Miami but he still keeps his ears to the dance floor.

12. Peter Hook (57)
It seemed like a logical progression for notorious New Order bass player to transition to the decks… except for the fact that he was accused of faking some of his sets a few years back. Now focused on his own music after splitting from New Order, Hook’s more recent daliances in the DJ booth have gone much better as he concentrates on his band, The Light.

13. Afrika Bambaataa (56)
Utilizing drum machines and computer sounds when computers were the size of refrigerators, Afrika Bambaataa created electro-funk, a sound that took the world by storm with 1982’s breakthrough smash “Planet Rock.” Bambaataa’s sound has influenced nearly every style of dance music, from breakbeat to electro. In 2012 Afrika Bambaataa was appointed to a three-year term as a Visiting Scholar at Cornell University, where his vinyl collection will reside as part of the Cornell University Library Hip Hop Collection, the largest collection on hip-hop culture in the world.

14. Kool DJ Red Alert (56)
New York hip-hop legend continues to hold it down with club shows and on the air. Check out The Koolest Legend on East Village Radio’s which aired back in March to taste his New York flavor.

15. Jellybean Benitez (55)
John “Jellybean” Benitez has done it all: music producer/remixer, A&R man, indie label mogul. Benitez’s passion for DJing is stronger than ever, as evidenced by hisSiriusXM Studio 54 Radio program and regular spate of gigs around New York City.

16. Grandmaster Flash (55)
“A square peg in a round hole” is the mantra Grandmaster Flash has lived by. Known for innovating scratching, phasing and backspins, the hip-hop pioneer (whose group Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five was inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007) continues to blaze trails and bring down walls between musical genres. Listen to his recent BBC 6 Mix to hear Flash in full groove.

17. Alex Paterson (53)
From roadie for Killing Joke to A&R man at EG Records, Dr. Alex Paterson’s The Orb continues to push ambient house into new directions. The good doctor’s outfit recorded an album with dub master Lee “Scratch” Perry last year, and The Orb will celebrate its 25th anniversary at The Forum in London on October 19. Patterson’s DJ sets are epic, and he’s presently hosting a monthly DJ mix on FNOOB Underground Radio. Here’s hoping the upcoming anniversary tour finds him behind the decks.

18. Shep Pettibone (53)
With a remixography as long as your arm, Pettibone went into the hospitality business and currently owns The Empress Hotel in New Jersey. He regularly spins at its Paradise Nightclub.

19. Marshall Jefferson (53)
In the ’80s Jefferson helped lay the blueprint for house and techno. Decades later he’s still moving bodies on dance floors all of the world.

20. Larry Heard (53)
Known as Mr. Fingers (pictured below) for his dexterity on the keyboards, the Chicago-bred Heard (who is responsible for a litany of classics like “Move Your Body”) now calls Memphis home. Heard has recently stepped away from DJing due to chronic ear issuesbut he still graces his fans with online mixes.

larry heard

21. Robert Owens (53)
Known for his vocal work with the aforementioned Larry Heard, Owens was also on the scene when house music came of age in the ’80s. These days he continues to sing, record and has established himself as a DJ on the global stage.

22. Carl Cox (52)
One of the most beloved DJs in the world, this British techno hero (pictured below) has earned generations of fans for this flawlessly energetic sets, boundless energy and big, gap-toothed smile.

carl cox

23. Pete Tong (52)
If DJ culture were a religion, Pete Tong would be the pope. A DJ, BBC radio presenter and serial entrepreneur Tong breaks new music weekly on his syndicated show airing on the beeb and over various radio airwaves. He is the tastemaker’s tastemaker.

24. Danny Tenaglia (52)
Championing a style he’s dubbed “hard and soul,” Tenaglia’s magnetic personality continues to touch his fans. While some DJs mix in the shadows and rarely interact with those on the dance floor, Tenaglia, who is known for his marathon DJ sets, often likes to get on the mic and chat with his fans. File Tenaglia under a DJ’s DJ.

25. Grandmaster Caz (52)
One of hip-hop’s founding fathers still spins and currently works as a celebrity tour guide for Hush Hip Hop Tours.

26. Boy George (52)
Culture Club’s infamous frontman has proved himself to be quite a DJ. This year his residency at La Troya at Amnesia in Ibiza has been hugely successful, and he continues to spin all over he world.

27. David Morales (51)
One of the biggest DJ/producers in the game, Morales, who is now a grandfather, continues to bring his sexy brand of New York house to clubs all over the world.

28. Saskia Slegers (a.k.a. Miss DJax) (51) 
Since founding Djax Records in 1989, Miss DJax (pictured below) has pushed the envelope of techno in every possible way. A scant look at her schedule finds her DJing all over Europe for the remainder of the year. Miss DJax won’t techno for an answer when it comes to her music.

Miss DJax

29. Moritz von Oswald (51)
One half of both Basic Channel and Maurizio, von Oswald remains a busy DJ, regularly playing all over Europe. This year he released a brilliant album with Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins called Borderland. Buy it.

30. Farley Keith (a.k.a. Farley Jackmaster Funk) (51)
Known for producing early Chicago house tracks under his own name as well as aliases Rude Boy Farley Keith, Farley Funkin’ Keith and Farley Jackmaster Funk, Keith can still hold his own behind the decks.

31. Jesse Saunders (51)
Chicago house pioneer Jesse Saunders has done it all, working as a DJ, music and film producer, remix artist, promoter and entrepreneur. Saunders keeps busy these days making music and running Broken Records.

32. Danny Rampling (51)
Known for his role on the early British rave scene, Rampling has done it all, jetting around the world as a DJ, serving as a radio host and remixing and producing tracks for the dance floor. Rampling announced his retirement in 2005 but his break from the decks was short-lived. This summer he DJed at clubs from Ibiza to New York.

34. Steve “Silk” Hurley (50)
Working his way up spinning on Chicago’s WMBX in the ’80s, Hurley dominated the ’90s remix scene, reimagining tracks for the biggest pop stars of the day. These days the four-time Grammy nominee helms house Chitown label S&S Records and remains busy making magic in the studio.

35. Marley Marl (50)
Straight outta Queensbridge, NY, Marley Marl established himself as one of the most talented DJ/producers in hip-hop with the Juice Crew. He went on to release of spate of classic records and is still lethal behind the wheels of steel.

36. Grand Wizard Theodore (50)
A hip-hop icon who also pioneered scratching, Theodore’s style has influenced countless turntablists. Theordore still rocks it and continues to innovate.

37. Joey Negro (50)
The alias of British DJ/producer, Dave Lee has spawned a litany of dance floor dalliances over the span of three decades. Lee took his moniker in 1990 when he released “Do It Believe It” on indie house label Nu Groove and needed a moniker. In 2012 he released The Secret Life of Us artist album. He runs Z Records and has DJ gigs from China to Spain this year.

38. DJ Hell (50)
Munich/Berlin mixmaster DJ Hell (pictured below) has 30 years of spinning under his belt yet doesn’t live in the past. Regularly playing the best techno and house clubs all over the world, he continues to refine his skills. Hell recently issued a brilliant mix CD,Kern Vol.2, featuring top cuts from Joey Beltram, Inner City and Robert Hood.


39. Jeff Mills (50)
Since his days running the elusive Underground Resistance collective in Detroit with “Mad” Mike Banks, Mills has established himself as one of techno’s most brilliant artists. Having worked with orchestras and known for his three-deck sets, Mills continues to break ground for his chosen genre.

40. DJ Krush (50)
Despite his early days as a yakuza henchman, Japan’s DJ Krush decided to leave the gangster world behind when he decided to make a go of it as a hip-hop DJ/producer. Krush continues to bring his beats all over the world and shine the spotlight on rising young talent.

41. Andrew Weatherall (50)
Venerable British DJ/producer/remixer continues to break down musical barriers, producing and remixing for amazing talent and bringing his eclectic musical sensibility whenever he’s on the decks.

42. Paul Oakenfold (50)
Vegas to Ibiza is not only the name of his latest mix CD but it’s also two places where Oakenfold maintains DJ residencies. One of the most in-demand DJs in the world, Oakie’s star-studded new album, Pop Killer, is due out this year.

43. Nicky Holloway (50)
Regarded as the first superstar DJ, Holloway has had his fair share of personal ups and downs over the years but he’s been known to show up behind the turntables every so often.

44. Norman “Fatboy Slim” Cook (50)
Known for too many hits to mention, Cook (pictured below) remains a fixture of the global club scene. After holding down a residency in Las Vegas, Cook recently had a change of heart, stating that the city’s blossoming scene wasn’t really for him. As he jets around the world playing upbeat music for the masses, he just opened the Brighton Beach Café in his beloved hometown of Brighton, England.

norman cook

45. Ben Watt (50)
Known as one half of Everything But The Girl, Ben Watt has worked as a DJ, producer, remixer, label owner and radio presenter. Watt’s prowess behind the decks is well known in the deep house world, though he’s decided to focus his career as of late on writing books.

46. John Morales (50+)*
One of the masters of the re-edit — a technique where an existing song was altered for the dance floor — Morales is a demon behind the boards. A DJ since the ’70s, this fall finds him spinning his grooves in Germany, Lebanon, France and Austria.

47. Kenny Carpenter (50+)*
Brooklyn’s house hero has done it all as a DJ, touring all over the world and helming mix shows on various radio stations. Though his sound is rooted in the ’70s and ’80s, Carpenter continues to champion new music in his sets as he crisscrosses the globe.

48. Tony Humphries (50+)*
Home Fries! A true global champion of deep house, Humphries has remained true to his sound in the wake of fleeting musical fads. Having toured all over the world, he remains hugely popular in Italy where he often spins.

49. Graeme Park (50+)*
The numbers don’t lie: Graeme Park has worked as a DJ for over 25 years and over 15 years of experience on the radio. After establishing himself at The Haçienda in Manchester, Parky has gone on to tour everywhere and remains widely popular in the UK.

50. Lil Louis (50+)*
The Chicago house master famous for hits like “French Kiss” recently celebrated 39 years as a DJ! Still playing local shows, Louis regularly spins in clubs in Paris, London and all over Europe. No wonder he got a shout out from Daft Punk in the song “Teachers” from the Homework!

* exact age unknown

Image by Dubassy / Shutterstock

Article Credit: societeperrier.com


  1. How could you of missed out little louie vega! Not impressed with some other names on there and you miss out the master. Kenny dope as well, but he maybe in his 40s still.

  2. Derrick May??

  3. Anthony Stafford says:

    What about Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson??? the true pioneers of Detroit Techno

  4. Alan Kenny Arscott says:

    Where the fuck is Alfredo then?!!

  5. DIZZLE fr ochi rios jamaica says:

    yea ma style we dont play with music , we eat sleep drink it

  6. larry lumford says:

    So proud of my Dj brother and sisters , I am 58 years , although I am not a well known Dj from back in the Day I played just as hard and as much as the above Djs we grew up around the same time and learned the same skills , there are plenty of us who still play to this day , I am just so proud that we are still recognized as the Innovators of this craft , I belong to a Organization called “Legions of Vinyl ” , I am so proud tobe in the league of these incredible Pioneers of this Industry check us out http://www.legendsofvinyl.com

  7. Where’s Derrick May or Juan Atkins???

  8. larry lumford says:

    I don’t feel bad about what names are its just the point of being noticed and recognized some of them are not in the Hall of Fame , the issue is being recognized as a on going and involved dj and there are plenty across the globe not every one can be in the top 50 it dosen’t matter, the point is your still working and teaching the craft ckeck it out http://www.legendsofvinyl.com

  9. mark thomas says:

    what about ME! (lol) 54
    although.. the above mentioned truly deserve

    I was one of the Saint Dj’s 80’s nyc,. also played : Greece, Australia, Sundance- Rehobeth Beach. De, Much to many more to add except Hippo – Baltimore Maryland and my first legitimate home space..

    • they need to make a new saint projecting cgi , sounds like you were lucky to get outta there alive……much respect, please elaborate on your experiences and playlist!

  10. Missed DJ Harvey

  11. Tilda Tune says:

    Greg Wilson

  12. Great bunch of talented people but where’s DJ/Producer Robert Ouimet on the list ?
    The legendary DJ of the Montréal’s Limelight is now 65 and he is more active than ever.
    This pionner was recently in Toronto and by the end of the year other events will bring him to play elsewhere in Canada.
    His productions can be heard among others on the internet radio station ACXIT with shows like “Different Angle”, “Kickin’ Ass” and “The Twinzz Show” with DJ David ‘lil Dave Godin.

    If there’s one DJ over 50 that is still killing, it’s Robert Ouimet !

  13. NIce!!!!! But you forget the big Name??? ” ROBERT OUIMET” you no this name ? is from Montréral / Canada!!!

  14. A Major Shout Out to My Dear Friend and Living Legend, DJ/Producer/Remixer Sharon White who turns 60 next year! She played and/or held residencies at Studio 54, The Saint, Palladium, The Garage, Sound Factory Bar, The Roxy, The Limelight and The Pavilion and also became the first female Billboard Reporter. She later began working for many US record labels including Motown, RSO, Profile & Polygram. She was also voted into The Legends Of Vinyl – DJ Hall of Fame in 2011. She was featured in the soon to released house music documentary “AWAKENING” and is taking her Deep Tech House sound to clubs in and around NYC.

    • larry lumford says:

      Sharon White is on our list of Legends she is also on Our Board of Directors much respect to her , she uis a Living legends check it out www,legendsofvinyl.com

  15. ludger machele says:

    Christos, Vinny da Vincy, Ganyani, Positiv K, Tim White, Oskido… All from South Africa?

  16. Frank Ainsworth says:

    Colin Curtis – a true UK legend – has been spinning tunes from at least 1970 and has probably covered more styles than any who are included in this list and continues to play out to this day.

  17. Half those people really suck and fake it anyway. Some of them need to get off their high horses they are music selectors not the next coming of christ. Djing is about who you know not what you can do. The list proves it.

  18. Same here..I just turned 56 and still doin’ it here in Cleveland. Our issue is that while Cleveland is home to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, we have never been a trend setting club mecca. We’ve had a few good clubs but being the R & R Capital of the world has hindered our club scene. Hell I did 13 years at one club and SEVENTEEN YEARS at another.. Now it’s mobile stuff every week. I was lucky enough to learn how to mix it up back in 1976, when most of Cleveland’s club jocks were just putting the needle on the record. That edge enabled me to NEVER in my career not have a residency somewhere …UNTIL I left the club scene in 2001.

    I was also lucky enough to have Kurtis Blow’s brother teach me how to scratch when we had Kurtis in concert at a mostly black club with me (a white guy) as the DJ. I taught him how to long beat mix and he showed me how to scratch it up!

  19. I just turned 50 and been deejaying since I was 18. I am not famous and neither a known dj, but I am so proud of those who still can draw such a crowd at that age…RESPECT
    You can listen to my sets on http://www.mixcloud.com/abeaub/

  20. Although not a club DJ (nor ever wanted to be or will) I have been a working DJ since 1972 and am known nationally as “The Wedding Wizard” and turned 63 this year. I still work full time as a wedding DJ and write for several national publications and teach other DJs via my “Top Gun Workshops”. There are lots of us “old guys” still rocking parties and events all the time. I certainly don’t put myself in the class of skills that a lot of the guys in this article have, but I hold my own in the wedding business. Personally, I think many of the DJs listed would be challenged in the wedding business, but props to all for their contributions.

  21. Hello, the whole thing is going fine here and ofcourse every one is sharing information,
    that’s genuinely fine, keep up writing.

  22. I cannot believe that you left out Jerry Blavat, the Geator with the Heater, the Boss with the Hot Sauce, who is still rocking it at 70, and working it practically 7 days a week. Philadelphia stand up and cheer. We love him.

  23. Gilles Peterson! Greg Wilson! Norman Jay! and the number on Colin Curtis!!

  24. 🙂 Interesting list. Needs to be either a list of 75 or 100 names – other key names cleary missed off and should include the age 45 years young and over. By the way don’t forget DJ Marcia Carr when you revamp your list next time. #justsaying

  25. Miguelangelmallorca says:

    What about some other good european DJs from Countries like Spain ,Juan Campos,for example

  26. Kool list thanks, but would like to add to this list another NYC legendary Dj Andre Collins 55yrs old still touring worldwide & played at Better Days,club Warehouse etc…was Resident Dj for NYC promoter Mike Stone RIP!

  27. Wow, I am amazed how you republished this story in its entirety, probably without permission of the site you stole it from.

  28. larry lumford says:

    Just to remind those who don’t know the art of mixing music in a Club setting was created in the city of New York in the Mid Sixties not saying there is no history in other cities around the world but it started in New York many of the creators of this form of Djing were not mentioned here , many of the people on this list came after the start of the Art form began , Before Chicago , Before Detroit , before Miami before the UK , It was New York . lets understand this , it is quite hard to recognize everyone , but I can say the base of it was New York in the Gay movement of 60’s during the ” Stonewall Incident ” in the west Village , Learn the history before you speak and quote . http://www.legendsofvinyl.com

  29. You can’t have Rodigan, without DJ Derek….

  30. Graham Gold !!!!!
    Still working like an absolute trojan, bringing House and Techno to the party peeps on Ko Phangan!!!

  31. And what’s about me. I was DJ when the majority of dj’s of today was not born. I’m frm Rome (Italy) but I live in Paris from 27 years. I was the owner of the first Record-shop of House Music-Detroit Techno Music in Paris in 1988. Parisians (French) people called me the DJ of the DJ’,s. If you don’t believe ask at Laurent Garnier,Daft Punk e (sic) David Guetta. I’m joking, of course but it is true. I’m too lazy to stay hours at the same place. I prefer to dance. But I mix at radios,, at home, friend’s house. Finally everywhere but I don’t care about money and Istrionic megalomania! Sal Russo, 54 years.


  1. […] Videmusicbox.tv has listed 50 living legends who are still busy doing what they love – playing music. Any house DJ’s on that list? You bet! […]

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