Paul DelVecchio’s résumé doesn’t scream “Master of the Universe,” at least not at first glance. The Rhode Island native never attended college, instead taking a job at a car dealership after high school. For much of the last decade, he spent the bulk of his nights and weekends DJing small clubs in Providence for a few hundred dollars a pop.
But something changed in 2009, when he was selected to be a part of MTV’s Jersey Shore. Three years later he’s got a slew of eponymous products, his own television show and a DJ career that earns him an average of $40,000 per show from club gigs, private parties and a stint opening for Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale tour. Over the past year, Pauly D pulled in $11 million, enough to earn him the No. 7 spot on FORBES’ first-ever top-earning DJs list.
“Everybody was skeptical at first, because how everybody heard about me is probably from Jersey Shore,” he says. “But now I’m six seasons deep in the show and I’ve been touring all over the country, touring with major pop acts and stuff like that. That legitimizes everything, and they’re starting to say, ‘This kid isn’t just a reality star, he’s an actual DJ.’”
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