The History of Diplo

His career and businesses.

Esther Jordan
4 min readNov 19, 2022


diplo, american music, american artist, pop start

Diplo is one of the most well-known American DJs in the music industry. He has a passion for making music that comes through his work on artists’ albums and DJ sets alike. In this article, we’ll take you through Diplo’s history as an artist and how he got to where he is today. We’ll also talk about how he uses his fame for good causes like helping end poverty and climate change through non-profits like ONE Campaign and Sunfunder.

Early life

Diplo was born on 10 November 1978 to Thomas Pentz and his mother, Paula Louise Pentz. His father was a blues guitarist who worked with legends like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, while his mother was a preschool teacher at the time of Diplo’s birth. The couple would divorce when he was young, after which he moved to Atlanta in order to live with his grandparents.

In high school, Diplo played football and acted in plays; however, he found most of his enjoyment in music production classes that were available for students to take during their free periods between classes. It wasn’t long before he began producing records for local rappers under the name “Diplodocus” (which has nothing to do with dinosaurs). He soon changed his moniker because it made him sound too much like a dinosaur!

Career beginnings

Diplo has been a major player in the EDM scene for over 10 years now, but he got his start as a DJ in Philadelphia. He was one of the first members of the Mad Decent crew and collaborated with artists like Justin Bieber, Madonna, Usher and Snoop Dogg before becoming an even bigger name in dance music with his 2014 single “Revolution.”

Today, Diplo is known as not only a producer and DJ (and member of Major Lazer), but also as an influential tastemaker who can bridge genres through music that is fun to listen to.

2009–11: Major Lazer and commercial success

Major Lazer was formed in 2008 when Diplo and Switch, who were looking for a new project after the disbanding of their former group Hollertronix, met at a party in LA. The two decided to form a reggae and dancehall-influenced side project while they continued to work on their own solo careers.



Esther Jordan

Quantumplation. Legal writer. SEO marketer, copy writer & editor of 15 years. High fashion model. Former children and adult special-needs counselor. Risk taker.