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10 moments that defined Armin van Buuren

From nine-hour sets in Rotterdam to performances in front of royalty, we select the moments that shaped Armin's iconic career...

Armin van Buuren has cultivated a huge fanbase over his two-decade career, including a passionate network of festival-goers, Olympians and Dutch royalty. Through his legendary A State of Trance radio program, Armin has introduced multiple generations of dance music fans to the broad genre’s best labels, producers and curators.    

Armin's history with our Top 100 DJs poll is also special, with 2017 marking his 16th appearance in the annual, publicly-voted poll. First placing way back in 2001, the Dutchman jumped in at No. 27; the next year he made it all the way to fifth place, and hasn’t left the top five since. And, while there are still other DJs who’ve won a spot in the poll more times than Armin — Coxy and Paul van Dyk, for example — he still holds the titles for most wins (five) and most wins in a row (four). Now that’s gonna take some beating!

Born on Christmas day in 1976, the DJ and producer has truly been a clubbing gift to millions of dancers across the globe. Here, we sort through his influential career and select 10 pivotal moments to remember!

1. Developing ‘Communication’ with the Ibiza crowds
‘Communication’, released in 1999, served as Armin’s introduction to the Ibiza faithful. Following its popularity in the White Isle's clubs, the track would be signed to AM PM records and make it to number 18 on the UK singles charts. 

2. Inaugural ‘A State of Trance’ compilation drops
In 1999, van Buuren launched Armind records together with United Recordings. By June of 2000, he released his seminal ‘A State of Trance’ compilation. The 24-track offering included tracks written by Tiësto and Ferry Corsten.

3. The world tunes in to A State of Trance
On 18th May 2001, episode one of A State of Trance would be set free across the ID&T Radio waves. Having survived for 830+ episodes, the two-hour program continues to be broadcast to over 41 million listeners weekly.

4. The nine-hour debut Armin Only spectacle
As any true trance fan knows, Armin's live shows really are something special. “The concept of ‘Armin Only’ was born of my desire to play longer sets and to control the overall mood and atmosphere of the night,” describes the Dutchman of his solo live events. The idea commenced in Rotterdam with a nine-hour set on 12th November 2005.

5. ‘Imagine’ reaches the top of the Dutch album charts
Three was the lucky number for Armin van Buuren. His third full-length studio effort, 2008’s ‘Imagine’, would go on to be the first trance album to top the Dutch album charts. The album also debuted at number four on the Billboard Dance/Album Charts. Singles from the album included ‘Going Wrong', 'In and Out of Love' 'Unforgiveable' and 'Never Say Never'.

6. A massive welcome home for the Dutch soccer team
Despite their loss during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Dutch soccer team were still welcomed home with a massive celebration at the Museumplein in Amsterdam. The club would be honoured by a performance from Armin in front of an estimated 200,000 fans.

7. ASOT 500 takes over at Ultra Miami
Ultra Music Festival’s first official sell-out crowd was gifted with an ASOT takeover. For the 500th episode of the radio program, Armin took over a UMF stage in March of 2011. The stage hosted sets by Ferry Corsten, ATB, Cosmic Gate and Sander van Doorn. 

8. King and Queen of Netherlands join an Armin van Buuren boat party
On 30th April 2013, van Buuren was joined on stage during a boat party by King of The Netherlands Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. A celebration of the couple’s coronation, their spontaneous dance moves were unexpected by the DJ and fans alike. The performance would be seen by 5,000,000 people worldwide.

 9. ‘This Is What It Feels Like’ earns a Grammy nomination
In December of 2013, the Grammy committee announced their nomination of ‘This Is What It Feels Like (feat. Trevor Guthrie)' for the Best Dance Recording award. While the collaboration didn’t take home the prize, it would go 7x Platinum in the Netherlands, 2x Platinum in Canada, and Platinum in Australia. The Armin van Buuren team even managed to land famous adult film actor Ron Jeremy to star in the music video.

10. A State of Trance studio is born
A State of Trance took another step upward when Armin opened his own dedicated radio studio in February of 2017. Located in Amsterdam, the studio launched with the 800th ASOT episode. “From [this] moment onward, the episodes of A State Of Trance will be so much more than just a listening experience. Thanks to a full video stream system, you will be able to watch me and A State of Trance live on my Facebook page and YouTube channel, every Thursday from 8 PM till 10 PM CET,” boasted Armin upon its opening.

Read our other 10 moments that defined features on Eric Prydz, Don Diablo and David Guetta.

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