Steve Aoki is one of the most successful disc jockeys in America. During his shows, Aoki is very energetic and he is known for his stage stunts where he performs stunts in the crowd, sticks ready-made cake on the bodies of some happy fans and then pours champagne over them. The last two have become something of a ritual.
The star of electronic dance music (EDM) began making international waves in late 2009, and today he has a Grammy-nominated record and earns tens of millions of dollars annually with his passion.
Steve Aoki Wiki/Bio
Steven Hiroyuki Aoki was born on November 30, 1977, in Miami, Florida, as the third child of Hiroyuki “Rocky” Aoki, the Japanese born American millionaire and founder of Benihana, and his first wife Chizuru Kobayashi. Steven grew up in Newport Beach, California, where he attended Newport Harbor High School and graduated in 1995.
After high school, Steve went to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he earned not one, but two bachelor’s degrees, one in feminist studies and one in sociology. Aoki’s love of music, however, drove him into the world of entertainment. In his early twenties, Aoki had founded his music label Dim Mak in 1996.
Aoki slowly developed Dim Mak into a brand by hosting parties, and soon became popular among American colleges. He then moved to Los Angeles to further develop his brand. Along the way, Aoki became part of some bands such as Blake Miller, This Machine Kills, The Fire Next Time and Esperanza.
In early 2008 he released his debut album Pillowface and his Airplane Chronicles. By the end of 2009, Aoki had remixed songs from numerous established acts and even worked with some, from Drake to Kanye West to Snoop Dogg. By 2012 Aoki had made his breakthrough. He set a Guinness World Record for the most traveled musician of all time, averaging 250 shows a year in at least 40 countries.
His debut solo album Wonderland (2012) received a Grammy nomination, which Aoki describes as his greatest achievement to date. Since then, Aoki has never looked back, releasing an average of one album in two years.
The father of Steve Aoki was also very popular. He was best known as the founder of the Japanese restaurant chain Benihana, a company he had started with the $10,000 he had saved by selling ice cream from a truck in Harlem. Within a few years, the restaurant developed into a chain that made him a millionaire.
Born in Tokyo, he came to the USA as a wrestler after several schools had offered him scholarships because of his wrestling skills. In 1995 he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Aoki’s father also raced cars, hot air balloons, and boats. He founded a porn magazine and started a social club, but both businesses didn’t last long. Throughout his life, Rocky Aoki set several records. Known for his love of women, he was married three times. At the time of his death in 2008, he was married to his third wife Keiko Ono Aoki. His total number of children was 7.
Aoki has an equally popular sister, Devon Aoki. She was born on August 10, 1982, and is a fashion model who replaced Naomi Campbell as the face of Versace. Devon acts occasionally and has appeared in films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious, Sin City and DOA: Dead or Alive. She is married to James Bailey and has at least two children.
Net Worth: $75 million
Contrary to what many would like to believe after learning that Steve’s father was the famous Benihana restaurant owner, Steve did not inherit a single cent from his father’s estimated $100 million estates, but had to work his way to the top.
He founded his indie record label Dim Mak with 900 dollars, and none of it was his father’s money. Aoki and two of his friends had to bring in $300 each to get the label up and running. However, Steve thanks his father for teaching him to be financially independent. Although he grew up with the money, Senior Aoki taught his son to be humble and value money.
“I was neither sheltered nor spoiled. “All the money I earned, I earned myself… He worked from nothing, so he wanted to give that to his children – that concept,” Aoki once said about his multimillionaire father.
From working in the kitchen of his father’s Benihana restaurant to telemarketing in college, to working as a bike courier for a fast-food restaurant, Aoki also had odd jobs.
Aoki slowly built a fan base, and his personality helped him a lot. Dim Mak, who he named after his favorite childhood hero Bruce Lee, began making waves in the mid-2000s.
Soon his earnings were enough to secure him a place on the Forbes list of the world’s highest-income DJs. In 2012, he made it to the top spot, and in 2017, he made $29.5 million, his highest ever earnings, with 70% of the income coming from extended touring.
In addition to his DJing, Aoki increases his income through other gigs, from sponsorship deals to acting and speaking. He learned his voice for a character in Charming (2017). His endorsement partners include Japan Airlines ANA, the French wine brand Luc Belaire, and others. He owns the Dim Mak Collection, a luxury streetwear line for men. All these efforts and more contribute to Steve Aoki’s net worth of $75 million.
Wife, Girlfriend – Tiernan Cowling
Since attaining celebrity status, Steve Aoki has been associated with only one woman – Tiernan Cowling. After years of dating, Aoki proposed to her in 2010. In December 2015, they were married in a private ceremony in Maui, Hawaii with close family members present.
The cowling is an Australian model born in 1991.