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Adam Richard Wiles (born 17 January 1984), known professionally as Calvin Harris, is a Scottish DJ, record producer, singer, and songwriter.
His debut studio album, I Created Disco, was released in June 2007. Its singles “Acceptable in the 80s” and “The Girls” both reached the top 10 in the UK. In 2009, he released second studio album, Ready for the Weekend, which debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and whose lead single, “I’m Not Alone“, became his first song to top the UK Singles Chart.
In 2012, Harris rose to international prominence with the release of his third studio album, 18 Months, which topped the UK Albums Chart and became his first album to chart on the US Billboard 200, peaking at number 19. All eight of the album’s singles reached the top 10 in the UK, breaking the record for the most top 10 songs from one studio album on the UK Singles Chart with eight entries, surpassing Michael Jackson‘s record. In 2014, he released his fourth studio album, Motion, which debuted at number two in the UK and number five in the US. In 2017, he released his fifth studio album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, which reached the top two in the UK and the US and became his third consecutive number one album on the US Dance/Electronic Albums chart. His upcoming sixth studio album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 (2022), will serve as a sequel to his previous release.
In October 2014, Harris became the first artist to place three songs simultaneously on the top 10 of Billboard‘s Dance/Electronic Songs chart. He also became the first UK solo artist to reach more than one billion streams on Spotify. Harris has received 18 Brit Award nominations–winning British Producer of the Year and British Single of the Year in 2019, as well as five Grammy nominations, including a win for Best Music Video in 2013. In 2013 he also received a Ivor Novello Award, and was named the Top Dance/Electronic Artist at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. He appeared on Debrett’s 2017 list of the most influential people in the United Kingdom. He topped Forbes‘ list of the world’s highest-paid DJs for six consecutive years from 2013 to 2018 until being dethroned by The Chainsmokers in 2019.
Early life and beginnings
Adam Richard Wiles was born on 17 January 1984 in Dumfries, to English parents, a biochemist father, and housewife mother, who married in their native Oxford before moving to Dumfries. He has an elder sister and brother. Wiles attended Calside Primary School then Dumfries High School, and, after leaving school, he stocked shelves in supermarkets and worked in a local fish processing factory in order to buy DJ gear.
He was first attracted to electronic music in his teens and began recording bedroom demos in 1999. When Harris was 18, he released two songs, “Da Bongos” and “Brighter Days”. Both were released as 12-inch club singles and CD-EPs by the label Prima Facie in early 2002 under the name “Stouffer”. With these singles to his credit, Harris moved from Scotland to London, hoping to learn from the local music scene. Only one of his songs, “Let Me Know” with vocalist Ayah Marar on the Unabombers’ 2004 live-mix CD Electric Soul, Vol. 2, was released during his time in London. With the lack of job opportunities and money, he returned home to Dumfries and began posting homemade solo recordings to his Myspace page. His popularity on the social media website prompted Mark Gillespie, a talent booker for the dance-festival firm Global Gathering who had recently founded his own management firm, to make Harris the company’s first signee. Regarding his choice of his stage name, Harris stated that, “My first single was more of a soul track, and I thought Calvin Harris sounded a bit more racially ambiguous. I thought people might not know if I was black or not. After that, I was stuck with it.”
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