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Tupelo, Mississippi
Birth Sign
Tupelo, Mississippi

Diplo (Thomas Wesley Pentz) has slowly grown to prominence as one of the most dynamic and talented musical geniuses in the American music industry. The American record producer, rapper, musician, vocalist, and songwriter is also the founder of the ‘Major Lazer’ Dancehall music project. The electronic super combo Jack U was formed as a result of his collaboration with DJ Skrillex. He began with his mash-up mix tapes, and it wasn’t long before he became renowned as the master of electronic dance music in Philadelphia, where he performed in local bars. He gradually gained popularity among the local party community, and it didn’t take long for him and his friend DJ Low Budget to establish their own club nights, which they dubbed ‘Hollertronix.’ They rose to international prominence after releasing the mixtape ‘Never Scared’ in 2003. Diplo persisted in pursuing his aspirations, rapidly releasing his debut solo album, ‘Florida,’ which was only the first of many successful endeavors as an artist. ‘Major Lazer’ became his most well-known project, and his international celebrity skyrocketed.

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Childhood and Adolescence

Thomas Wesley Pentz was born on November 10, 1978, in Mississippi, to Barbara and Thomas Pentz. He is of German descent.

He has always been interested in music, particularly rap and electronic music since he was a child. When his family moved to Miami, he was initially exposed to Miami Bass, which would later play a crucial part in influencing his musical inclinations.

Because it was a time when rock music was prevalent and Rap was in its early stages of prominence, his ‘strange’ taste in music isolated him from other kids in his neighborhood.

He completed his college career at the University of Central Florida before continuing his education in Philadelphia. He began his DJing career there, although in modest venues such as nightclubs and gatherings.

Regardless of how good he was on the field, he lacked professional expertise and had to learn on the job as he increased in popularity.

The Career of Diplo

He became friends with DJ Low Budget, who shared many of Diplo’s values, and their partnership resulted in the development of Hollertronix, an event night where both DJs could play whatever they pleased.

They performed in nightclubs throughout California and utilized their savings to put on special events under their identity. Their joint and solo mixtapes were popular in Philadelphia nightclubs, and Diplo’s solo album ‘Never Scared’ was considered one of the greatest records of 2003.

Diplo wasted no time in moving on with his next endeavor, a studio called ‘The Mausoleum,’ which was eventually utilized by Shakira, Plastic Little, and Scream to record their music and videos after settling down and becoming financially stable from his music.

Diplo’s celebrity grew internationally, and in 2004, while DJing on one of his remix songs, he caught M.I.A’s attention, and she summoned Diplo for a meeting, who was unintentionally playing one of her songs as she walked in.

The mixtape ‘Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1’ was the product of their cooperation, and the album went on to gain such widespread acclaim that it was named one of the greatest albums of the year by the New York Times.

Diplo continued to collaborate with M.I.A., and through her, he met DJ Switch, with whom he collaborated on the tune “Paper Planes,” which reached number five on the Billboard 200.

All of Diplo’s success was astounding, and he swiftly rose through the ranks to become a producer, landing collaborations with huge names like Shakira, Kid Cudi, Bruno Mars, and Snoop Dogg, as well as a slew of other rock bands and music groups.

He began work on his second project, ‘Mad Descent,’ in which he experimented with Brazilian sounds, drew on his extensive travel experience and infused freshness into his tracks.

Mad Decent was created in 2005 and has subsequently partnered with a number of new artists including Gucci Mane, Rusko, and Jamie Fanatic.

He continued to rise up the ranks of success by collaborating with new and established artists, and producing hits for Lil Wayne, Britney Spears, Usher, Justin Bieber, and Ariana Grande, among others.

Diplo and Switch were signed to Downtown Records for a joint record, with Baile Funk and Miami Bass as their main sonic inspirations, and Major Lazer was born.

The duo traveled to Jamaica to record their album ‘Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do,’ and released an EP in 2010 called ‘Lazers Never Die.’ After Switch’s departure, Major Lazer released ‘Free the Universe,’ their second album in 2013.

The group collaborated with a number of different artists and produced high-quality music, allowing them to advance to a point in their careers where they were regarded as the best music group in the country.

The next album, titled ‘Peace is the Mission,’ was released in 2015, and one of the album’s singles, ‘Lean On,’ became Spotify’s most-streamed single ever with over 800 streams, and the song went on to receive 2 billion views on YouTube, making it one of the most-watched music videos ever, and other songs from the album performed admirably as well.

In 2016, Major Lazer partnered with Justin Bieber and Spanish vocalist MO on the tune “Cold Water,” which went on to top music charts in a number of nations. ‘Music is the Weapon,’ his most recent album, was co-produced by Sia, The Weeknd, and Ty Dolla Sign.

Diplo has also collaborated with renowned DJ Skrillex and performed under the moniker Jack U for the first time in 2013. Their debut collaboration, ‘Skrillex and Diplo Presents Jack U,’ was released in February 2015 and featured a number of other musicians.

The album’s song, “Where Are You Now?” topped the charts in numerous countries, and the album went on to be a huge hit in nightclubs all over the world. In 2016, the pair won the Grammy Award for ‘Best Dance Album.’

Apart from his mainstream work, Diplo has never shied away from promoting up-and-coming artists, and he presently hosts a BBC late-night show.

His appearances at a number of charity events, discussion shows, and music festivals have turned him into something of a cult figure among his fans. He is now composing music for his first Indian film, ‘When Harry Met Sejal,’ which stars Shah Rukh Khan.

His Personal Experiences

Diplo has been married to Katherine Lockhart for a long time and they have two sons together. He enjoys sports and claims to be a big lover of cricket and football, saying that he strives not to miss any key tournaments or matches for these two sports.

Diplo’s music has earned him more than a half-dozen Grammy nominations. But he doesn’t pay it much heed, claiming that the gratitude he receives for his job is enough to keep him going.

Estimated Net worth

He’s also been named one of the top-earning DJs in the world by Forbes. His estimated net worth is $75 million as of 2022.