Avicii, DJ who changed the game forever, dies at 28

Joshua Lloyd , A&E Editor

     Tim Bergling, better known as EDM icon Avicii, was found dead last Friday in Muscat, Oman, where he was reportedly visiting friends. The Swedish hitmaker was 28.

     Avicii’s publicist Diana Baron released a statement after his body was discovered. “It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii. He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20. The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.”

     Bergling’s family kept silent for three days before releasing an official statement on Monday. “We would like to thank you for the support and the loving words about our son and brother. We are so grateful for everyone who loved Tim’s music and have precious memories of his songs.”

     “Thank you for all the initiatives taken to honor Tim, with public gatherings, church bells ringing out his music, tributes at Coachella and moments of silence around the world. We are grateful for the privacy during this difficult time. Our wish is that it continues that way. With love, The Tim Bergling Family.”

     The Royal Oman Police ruled out any criminal involvement in his death after conducting two postmortem investigations.

     Bergling was born in 1989 in Stockholm, Sweden. He honed much of his early material on the Laidback Luke Forums, where he released music at breakneck pace as a popular producer. He took the name Avicii, a reference to the lowest level of Hell in Buddhism, because his real name was already in use by a different Myspace member.

     Avicii surged to the forefront of EDM (electronic dance music) with his 2011 smash-hit “Levels.” Before long, he was one of the most in-demand DJ’s in the world. He was a featured performer at Lollapalooza in 2012 and became the first DJ to headline New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.

     The superstar unveiled his debut studio album in September 2013, entitled “True” and featuring the phenomenal single “Wake Me Up.” The song dominated worldwide charts and radio stations after its release in June 2013 and shares space with “Levels” as one of the biggest EDM hits of all time.
Bergling received two Grammy nominations during his career. He earned a Best Dance Recording nod for his David Guetta collaboration “Sunshine” in 2012 and was up for the same award for “Levels” in 2013.

     In March 2016, Avicii called it quits on touring and live performances. Excessive drinking and endless demand for his shows took their toll on the beloved DJ. He’d endured health scares before; he was hospitalized in New York City for over a week in January 2012, suffering from acute pancreatitis. Two years later he went into surgery to have his gallbladder and appendix removed.

     Bergling posted a statement on his website in 2017, explaining his decision to give up touring. “We all reach a point in our lives and careers where we understand what matters the most to us. For me it’s creating music. That is what I live for, what I feel I was born to do.”

      “Last year I quit performing live, and many of you thought that was it. But the end of live never meant the end of Avicii or my music. Instead, I went back to the place where it all made sense – the studio.”

     “The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new. Hope you´ll enjoy it as much as I do.”
The revolutionary artist is remembered as the classic reluctant celebrity, the kind who didn’t bask in his fame despite performing upwards of 200 shows per year. “I love what I do, but I’ve never liked being recognized or being in the spotlight,” he once claimed.

     Avicii’s legacy survives with the lives he touched, the genre he redefined and the DJ’s who drop his hits just to watch the club go crazy.

Avicii released two studio albums, 48 singles and 29 music videos over the course of his career.