Last month, the NFL announced that Tiesto would be the first in-game superstar DJ for Super Bowl LVIII, playing a set prior to the game as the players warmed up and the fans found their seats. The plan was then for the Dutch DJ and music producer to spin during game breaks and throughout the Super Bowl entertainment slate.
What could be more Las Vegas than that? Unfortunately, as happens so often in the world of football, fate intervened and the Grammy-winning international star had to cancel last minute due to a “personal family emergency.”
Me and my team have been preparing something truly special for months, but a personal family emergency is forcing me to return home Sunday morning. It was a tough decision to miss the game, but family always comes first. Thank you to the @NFL for the collaboration and looking…
— Tiësto (@tiesto) February 8, 2024
As always, the NFL had a team backup and Kaskade stepped in to fill the void in the Super Bowl music roster. Although not as well known globally as Tiesto, the Chicago-born DJ is far more familiar with the big game than his Dutch counterpart — and with the city of Las Vegas itself.
As a kid who grew up in Chicago watching the @NFL Super Bowl every year with my family this chance to actually be part of it is absolutely mind blowing. Las Vegas has been my second home for the past decade, as an architect of creating a landscape that includes House and Dance… pic.twitter.com/UQ9w6cUNyr
— Kaskade (@kaskade) February 9, 2024
But who is this man who’ll be on the decks during segments of the Super Bowl airing on CBS today? The NFL has had pre-game DJs in the past, beginning with DJ Khaled in Miami in 2020, but this is the first year that they’ve been invited to stick around after kick-off.
Born in Chicago as Ryan Gary Raddon, Kaskade, now 52, began DJing in 1995 from a basement venue named Club Manhattan. His road to Allegiant Stadium and the global audience of the Super Bowl began after a move to San Francisco got him involved in the deep house movement there. This was also when Raddon took on the name “Kaskade,” although his wife was worried it sounded too much like the dish detergent! He went on to become know for early tracks like “What I Say,” “Be Still” and “Sorry” — a remix for which was nominated for a 2008 Grammy for Best Remixed Recording — at OM Records, before moving to Ultra Records, where he worked with deadmau5.
The 2000s saw Kaskade’s popularity explode, and included his first football stadium performance in 2009 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the Electric Daisy Carnival. “I remember looking at the sea of people: the whole football field was full,” he told the New York Times. “I just knew this was the beginning of something. There’s no music act that can do this right now — U2, Coldplay. Nobody’s going to put this amount of people into an arena right now.”
Kaskade has since been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, and was voted as “America’s Best DJ” in 2011 and 2013. He’s also no stranger to the Las Vegas party crowd, having become resident DJ at Encore Beach Club parties in 2010, which were dubbed “Kaskade Sundays.”
The EDM god can now earn up to $225,000 a show, making him one of the highest paid DJs in the world — and more than worthy to take center stage with the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Christian McCaffrey on Sunday.