January 5, 1981
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Joel Zimmerman, better known to EDM fans as Deadmau5 (pronounced "deadmouse"), became a superstar of electronic music in the late 2000s/early 2010s. His unique persona included the constant wearing of an oversized mouse head onstage and in all photos and videos. Born on January 1, 1981 in Ontario, Canada, Zimmerman was influenced by house, big beat, downtempo, and other styles, and he released his first album under the Deadmau5 banner, Get Scraped, independently in 2005. The record made little impact, and the follow-up, 2006's Vexillology, met a similar reception. It was 2008's Random Album Title that became the breakthrough for Deadmaus, charting in both the U.S. and U.K., partly on the strength of the hit single "I Remember," which includes a guest appearance by Kaskade. Zimmerman's next LP, For Lack of a Better Name, proved to be even more successful, and was distributed outside North America by Virgin. But it was his 2010 album, 4x4=12, that really put Zimmerman over the top and made Deadmau5 a househould name. It went Gold in the U.S. and U.K., and Platinum in Canada, and spawned a number of hit singles, including "Sofi Needs a Ladder," which includes a guest spot by German singer/rapper SOFI. By the time Zimmerman released Album Title Goes Here in 2012, Deadmau5 was a full-fledged phenomenon, not just in the EDM world but in the musical mainstream. Accordingly, the LP went to the top spot on the U.S. Dance charts, and included a Platinum single, "The Veldt," featuring Chris James, among other high-charting tunes. 2014's While (1 was similarly successful, but the following year, at a peak of popularity, Zimmerman seemed to temporarily implode. He briefly took down his social media accounts, and it was revealed that he was dealing with depression and taking a hiatus from music. Nevertheless, his next LP, 2016's W:/2016ALBUM/, deposited him right back at the top of the EDM heap once more.