By Jacob Katel
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A few years ago, David Guetta was just another house music DJ who was huge in Europe and not nearly as famous in the United States. Then came 2009, the year the Parisian (one of France's top DJs since the late '80s) released his fourth album, One Love, and produced "I Gotta Feeling" for the Black Eyed Peas.
One Love, which paired Guetta with pop titans such as Akon and Kelly Rowland (on "Sexy Bitch" and Billboard number one hit "When Love Takes Over," respectively), did more to advance dance music's march into the American mainstream than any release that didn't bear the name of Lady Gaga. Meanwhile, "I Gotta Feeling" became the most downloaded song of all time in the States, with more than 7.5 million MP3s sold.
Now Guetta, who topped DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs poll for the first time in 2011, can claim to be the world's most popular turntable operator, no matter which country he's in (even India, where the 44-year-old DJ has just finished touring for the first time). And the success of last year's One Love followup, Nothing But the Beat, studded with hit singles such as "Without You," costarring Usher, and "Where Them Girls At," with Nicki Minaj and Miami's own Flo Rida, has further cemented his place as dance music's pop ambassador.
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This year's Ultra Music Festival sees Guetta coheadlining the fest's third and final day — Sunday, March 25 — with Armin van Buuren, whom he supplanted atop DJ Mag's poll after the Dutchman held that title for four consecutive years — in fact, every year the poll has been taken.
In a sense, you could consider Guetta's Ultra set to be his coronation party.