Armin van Buuren (Dutch pronunciation: ˈɑr.mɪn vɑn ˈby.rə(n)), OON (born in Leiden, the Netherlands on 25 December 1976) is a Dutch trance producer and DJ. Between 2007 and 2010, he was voted number one in DJ Magazine's annual top 100 list of the most popular DJs. In the 2011 list, he ranked in second place. Since 2001, Van Buuren has hosted a weekly radio show called A State of Trance, which claims to have around 15 million weekly listeners in 26 countries; this would make it one of the most listened-to radio shows in the world. His 2008 studio album, Imagine, entered the Dutch album chart at #1, a first for a dance artist in Dutch music history.

Personal life

Armin van Buuren was born in Leiden, the Netherlands on 25 December 1976, but grew up in Koudekerk aan den Rijn. Van Buuren started making music when he was 14. He was inspired by French electronic music composer, Jean Michel Jarre, and wished to become a great electronic music composer like Jarre.

He finished high school at the Stedelijk Gymnasium Leiden in 1995, and left for college to study law at Leiden University. While studying law, Van Buuren's interest for making music blossomed, and he began working as a DJ in a local club called Nexus. As his musical career began to take off, he put his law degree on hold, although he did return to finish law school in 2003.

On 18 September 2009, Van Buuren married Erika van Thiel in Wassenaar, Netherlands. They met during a vacation on Crete, and had been together for nine years prior to the marriage.

On 12 January 2011, Van Buuren announced the pregnancy of his wife Erika on Twitter. He hoped the baby, due that summer, would be his "best production ever." Their daughter, Fenna, was born on 24 July 2011.

Career

1995-1999: Early career and success:

In 1995, Van Buuren had his first major success with a track called "Blue Fear", which was released under the Cyber Records label; he was 19 years old at the time. This track, which was produced in the "Euro Trance" mold, made it onto the UK Chart. Another successful track, "Communication" was released under the same label, and became popular in Ibiza, Spain in the summer of 1999. After being signed to AM PM Records, this track entered the UK Chart at No. 18 in 2000.

Van Buuren began his DJ career at club Nexus in Leiden, where he learned to play long DJ sets, which were regularly six to seven hours per set. During school holidays he played more than four times a week. In 1999, he met Dave Lewis who introduced him as a DJ in England and the United States. His career accelerated, entering the DJ magazine Top-100 in November 2001 at Number 27. He has played in more than 25 different countries and can often be found on the main stage at big summer festivals. Van Buuren played a record-breaking twelve and a half hour set for Dancetheater in The Hague (the Netherlands). In the United Kingdom he performs regularly at Passion (resident 2002), Godskitchen, Gatecrasher, Slinky, Ministry of Sound, Peach and Golden.

In the beginning of 1999, Van Buuren started his label Armind together with United Recordings. The first release, Gig - "One," was well received. The second release "Touch Me," under the name Rising Star was signed to Ministry of Sound in the UK, before the record was released.

By the time of his third release, Gimmick - "Free" was signed to R&S Records, Van Buuren had managed to make his label popular very quickly. Under the surname Gaia he released "4 Elements" on Captivating Sounds, a sub-label of Warner Brothers. Teaming up with Tiësto, two new projects were born: Major League - "Wonder Where You Are?" was released on Black Hole Recordings and Alibi - "Eternity" was released on Armind. "Eternity" received club and chart success and was signed to Paul van Dyk's imprint Vandit Records. Another major collaboration followed this. Together with Ferry Corsten, Van Buuren recorded a riff-classic titled "Exhale" for the System F. album. Released as a single, this track reached gold status in less than a month.

2000-2004: A State of Trance and 76:

In 2000, Van Buuren started his own Armin van Buuren compilation series. He managed to find a balance between progressive house,and vocal trance music styles. His first compilation album, A State of Trance (not to be confused with his weekly A State of Trance radio shows), sold more than 10,000 copies and contains Van Buuren's well known remix of Moogwai, "Viola." His second album, Basic Instinct featured a new track: "Perpetuous Dreamer" - "The Sound of Goodbye." This track entered the Dutch charts in June 2001 at number 26. Later in the year, the track hit No. 1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The third album, In Motion was released 6 August 2001. This album contained the real trance sound and was very popular in the United States. A fourth album, Transparence, followed in 2002. In 2003, he worked with such artists such as DJ Seth Alan Fannin throughout a global tour on Dance Revolution in Europe, selling out to crowds of 20,000 people in Armin's home country of the Netherlands.

In March 2001, Van Buuren started his own radio show on ID&T Radio (traditionally broadcast in Dutch and later English since ASOT 183). In this weekly two-hour show, entitled A State of Trance, he plays the latest popular trance music tracks. His show and the artists he features are popularized by publishing the artists and track titles on his website. This radio-show/website combination has proven popular internationally. When ID&T Radio changed genres in 2004, Van Buuren left and took A State of Trance with him. The show then moved to Fresh FM, a Dutch radio station. It is now a weekly feature on SLAM!FM, another Dutch radio station, DI.FM, an online radio station, and on XM Satellite Radio, channel 80 in the United States and Canada. A complete list of stations that broadcast A State of Trance can be found at the ASOT section of Armin's website. Also in 2004, Van Buuren remixed the 24 theme song into a trance hit. In June 2005, the 200th episode was celebrated in Amsterdam and subsequently aired on radio. The 250th (eight hour) anniversary episode was celebrated in Club Asta in The Hague, Netherlands, featuring Van Buuren, Jonas Steur, M.I.K.E., John Askew, Rank 1 and Menno de Jong.

In 2002, he had a residency at Glow in Washington D.C., and he has played in San Francisco, Houston, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, Denver, New York City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Seattle and at The Necto (nightclub). He has also regularly appeared at Amnesia on the island of Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain. In October that year, Van Buuren was voted Number 5 in the DJ Magazine 100 top DJ's. The following year, he jumped up to the No. 3 spot, and held 3rd place for the next three years. His work left him at the No. 2 spot, just below Paul van Dyk in the 2006 polls, and, in 2007, Armin reached #1, heading the 2007 DJ Mag Top 100. He was voted No. 1 again in 2008, 2009 and again in 2010.

In June 2003, Van Buuren released his debut studio album, 76, a 76-minute album divided into 13 tracks.

2005-present: Shivers, Imagine and Mirage:

On 8 August 2005, Van Buuren released his second studio album, Shivers. On the album Van Buuren worked with artists such as Pakistani-American singer Nadia Ali, English singer Justine Suissa and American trance duo Gabriel & Dresden.

On 11 November 2006, he had a live performance called Armin Only in Ahoy Rotterdam for the second time (after 12 November 2005) with a nine hour solo set, where he performed to over 11,000 fans.

In the summer of 2007, Van Buuren recorded and released a live set at Amnesia, Ibiza. Universal Religion Chapter 3, Live from Amnesia at Ibiza was released on 28 September 2007 as a mix compilation on Armada Records and in the US as "Universal Religion 2008" on Ultra Records on 4 December 2007.

On 17 April 2008, Van Buuren released his third studio album, Imagine. It features collaboration with singers such as Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation and Jacqueline Govaert of Krezip. The album debuted at number one on the Dutch Albums Chart. Since the release of Imagine, Van Buuren has been working with Benno de Goeij and DJ-RA of Rank 1 on solo productions and remixes.

19 April 2008 saw the 3rd edition of Armin Only, this time in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, Netherlands. The event was attended by 16,000 fans and (partly) broadcast live on Dutch National TV. During the second half of 2008, Van Buuren took this show abroad, with visits to Australia, Romania, Poland, Belgium, and a special New Years Eve 2008 show at Together As One in Los Angeles, U.S.

On 29 September 2008, Armin won the DJ Award for "Best Trance DJ" at Ibiza along with other nominees, that of Tiësto, Ferry Corsten and Paul van Dyk.

On 12 January 2008, Van Buuren was given the "Buma Cultuur Pop Award," the most prestigious Dutch music award.

In 2009, Foreign Media Games announced the production of In The Mix: Featuring Armin van Buuren, a music game being produced in collaboration with Cloud 9 Music and Van Buuren's Armada Music label. The title is scheduled to be released sometime in 2010 exclusively for the Wii console.

He has collaborated with his brother, guitarist Eller van Buuren, in such venues as Together As One in Los Angeles, U.S., on New Year's Eve 2009, as well as on Armin's 2008 album Imagine.

On 3 March 2010, Van Buuren was awarded with the prestigious Golden Harp, for his musical work and contribution to Dutch music, by the music collecting society BUMA/STEMRA at the 2010 Buma Harpen Gala in Hilversum, the Netherlands.

On 23 June 2010, it was announced that Van Buuren's fourth studio album, Mirage was due to be released on 10 September. The first single "Full Focus", was released through iTunes Store on 24 June at midnight. The song peaked at number sixty in the Netherlands. One of the confirmed tracks from the album is a collaboration with English singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor called Not Giving Up On Love, which was released as a single from Bextor's fourth studio album, Make a Scene. Armin also wrote a song for English singer Seal, but due to the release of his greatest hits album, Hits, the collaboration never came together.

On 12 September 2010, Van Buuren launched "A State of Sundays", a new weekly 24-hour radio show aired on Sirius XM Radio

On 20 October 2010, Van Buuren won the award for Most Popular International DJ presented by The Golden Gnomes.

On 27 October 2010, Van Buuren was announced, for the 4th year running, as the number 1 DJ, and thus prolonging his title as 'Most Popular DJ in the World'.

The 2010 edition of Armin Only: Mirage kicked off on 13 November 2010, in Utrecht, Netherlands, with more shows coming in Saint-Petersburg, Kiev, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Beirut, Poznań, Moscow and Bratislava .

On 27 November 2010, Van Buuren made his third appearance in Shanghai, China.

On 2 February 2012, Van Buuren mentioned a new studio album in the works on episode #546 of his radio show, "A State Of Trance".

A State of Trance 500 (ASOT 500):

To mark the 10 year anniversary and 500th episode of his weekly radio show A State of Trance, Van Buuren performed at five shows across five continents over five consecutive weeks along with various artists.

The first show was held on 19 March 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa at the MTN Expo Center. In addition to Armin, Blake Jarrell, Protoculture, Lange, Leon Bolier, and Jorn van Deynhoven were performers. Super8 & Tab were to be part of the South African show, however a flight cancellation caused them to be absent for the event. The event was attended by over 20,000 people.

Miami's show was performed at the Ultra Music Festival on 27 March, and part of the show were Marcus Schossow, Alex M.O.R.P.H., Cosmic Gate, Gareth Emery, Ferry Corsten, ATB, and Sander van Doorn.

Argentina held the third celebration of ASOT 500 in club G.E.B.A Buenos Aires, with Heatbeat, Jochen Miller, Dash Berlin, Markus Schulz, John O'Callaghan and W & W. It was the only of the five ASOT 500 celebrations that was held outdoors. Van Buuren recorded a live video with his cell phone and uploaded it to Twitter while playing his live set.

ASOT 500 was celebrated in the Netherlands in Den Bosch. Accompanied by more than 30 DJs from countries all over the world, the event was attended by over 30,000 people. DJs present included Markus Schulz, Gareth Emery, Above & Beyond, Paul Oakenfold and Sean Tyas. The event was radio broadcast live to over 30 countries.

The final show was held in Sydney, Australia on 16 April at Acer Arena in Olympic Park. It was a sold out event weeks before the night. Artists present included Shogun, tyDi, Menno de Jong, Aly & Fila, and Alex M.O.R.P.H. Van Buuren played for three hours.

A State of Trance 550 (ASOT 550):

In March 2012, Van Buuren will perform in six shows across two continents as part of ASOT 550. He began his tour on March 1 in London, continued on to Moscow on March 7, and to Kiev, Ukraine on March 10. Then, he traveled to the United States to host his show at the Beyond Wonderland festival in Southern California. A week later on March 25, he closed out Ultra Music Festival 2012 for the 5th edition. This will be followed by the final show in the Brabanthallen of Den Bosch, the Netherlands.