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DJ AM: Five Mixes

Getty Images / Hal Horowitz

DJ AM: Five Mixes

Adam Goldstein, better known as DJ AM, was one of the most famous disc jockeys in the world before his untimely death at 36. While many DJs specialize in a single genre – think Skrillex and dubstep, deadmau5 and house – DJ AM was notable for his variety, mixing musical styles that might not seem so compatible at first glance. Not many DJs can throw together hip-hop, rock, pop and other genres while keeping an amped-up crowd dancing to the Rocky theme song or a slow Oasis ballad. But when DJ AM was at the turntable, he made it all fit.

March 30 would have been DJ AM's 42nd birthday, and we're celebrating by listening to him work. Here are five examples of his broad talent that prove he was among the greatest.

1. Party DJ – DJ AM was known for his live sets and DJing clubs and parties for the rich and famous. His clients included Christina Aguilera, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez and more. Here's a taste of what the crowds might have danced to at those parties.

2. Collaboration with Travis Barker – DJ AM worked with a lot of notable musicians, and one of his best-known collaborators was Travis Barker of Blink-182. This promo video offers a glimpse of how the drummer and the DJ riffed off each other's talents.

3. Interactive Spinning – When Activision launched its new video game DJ Hero, a spinoff of Guitar Hero, DJ AM was one of the playable avatars. He also contributed a mix for DJ gamers to try their hand at mixing: this mashup of Bell Biv DeVoe's "Poison" and the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic."

4. Remixes – Though DJ AM was known better as a party DJ, he also created some enduring remixes, such as this one featuring "Wonderwall" by Britpop superstars Oasis.

5. Movie star – Just two months before his death, DJ AM filmed a cameo for Iron Man 2, DJing Tony Stark's birthday party and ultimately providing the soundtrack for a superhero battle, one of his classic examples of genre mixing. The film was dedicated to his memory.

Written by Linnea Crowther. Find her on Google+.