SOUND OF A GENERATION
As the world mourns the death of chart- topping king of dance Avicii, his family begs for privacy
ONE of music’s superstars, the Swedish DJ Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii, has died in Oman after years of physical and emotional struggle. He was 28.
Avicii was a hugely influential and genre-hopping artist and one of the few DJs capable of selling out festival gigs and arena tours around the world, including in Australia.
He also produced chart-topping collaborations with acts from across the musical spectrum, including Madonna, Rita Ora and Coldplay, and was a truly original musician whose range encompassed soul, bluegrass, country and hip-hop.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” a statement from his publicist read.
“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.”
Avicii won two MTV Music Awards, one Billboard Music Award, two Grammy nominations and six top 10 singles in Australia alone.
He retired from per- forming in 2016 at the peak of his success, saying he was unable to manage the emotional strain of touring and the temptation to party.
From the age of 21 his health problems included acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking. He had his gall bladder and appendix removed in 2014.
Avicii posted this statement on his website last year: “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. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.”
Bergling was born in Stockholm on September 8, 1989. He began D-Jing as a teenager and released his first single in 2007. His 2011 single Levels vaulted him into the mainstream. Sunshine, his 2012 collaboration with David Guetta, was nominated for a Grammy for best dance recording. In September of that year, he became the first DJ to headline New York’s prestigious Radio City Music Hall.
In August 2017, he released a six-track EP entitled Avicii, which he said was the first of three instalments that would be his next album.
He followed a month later with a documentary called True Stories. In it, promoters are seen trying to convince him to continue touring, even though he is in obvious physical pain. “I looked at myself like, ‘F..., you should’ve really stood up for yourself more there. Come on, Tim!’ ” he told Rolling Stone in an interview published last September. “Why didn’t I stop the ship earlier?”
Star DJ Avicii is joined by Madonna at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida, in March 2012.
Avicii in 2015, and (left) with Austin Mahone and Kendall Jenner.