Swedish EDM DJ passed away on April 20 at the age of 28
Details continue to emerge after Swedish DJ and producer Avicii passed away suddenly in Oman last month (April 20). Real name Tim Bergling, the Grammy-nominated EDM star was 28. The official cause of death is not currently known, but reports claim the star took his own life. His family has said: “He could not go on any longer”.
Avicii’s parents, two sisters and brother went to Oman this week to repatriate his body and have issued two statements following his death. Though he was still making music at the time of his death, Avicii retired from playing live in August 2016, at the age of 26.
What did his family’s statements say?
On April 23, Bergling’s family released their first statement. It read:
“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.
The Tim Bergling Family”
On April 26, the family released a second statement. It read:
“Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. An over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress. When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music. He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace. Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight. Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed. The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.
We love you,
What did the police conclude from the post-mortem?
As reported by CNN, “two postmortems were carried out … and [police] can confirm that there is no criminal suspicion in the death”.
The original statement published at the announcement of Bergling’s death reads: “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 20th. 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.”
Avicii’s family have since issued an additional statement, thanking fans for their support.
What do we know about his final days?
According to a new Rolling Stone report, Avicii worked with songwriter/producer Joe Janiak for several weeks at his LA home studio before leaving for Oman to visit royal friends in the country.
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Janiak says that Avicii “seemed pumped”, adding: “You could tell he had spent a long time figuring out the puzzle, and he was trying to take charge of his life… That’s the shocking thing. He didn’t seem like a guy at the end of his days.”
A day before he travelled to Oman, Avicii allegedly told Janiak that he would reach out again when back from his trip.
Per Sundin, head of Universal Music Sweden, said of the new music Avicii had been working on: “All his notes were in happy mode… He loved what he had created”.
Incubus guitarist and Avicii collaborator Mike Einziger said that the musician seemed better since retiring from touring. “He didn’t look skeletal,” Einziger said. “He looked healthy, like he’d been out in the sun.”
Why had Avicii retired from performing live?
Throughout his career, Avicii was open about his ongoing health problems. In an interview with Rolling Stone he revealed that he had been hospitalised for 11 days in 2012 with acute pancreatitis, a condition associated with excessive drinking.
In the same interview, from January 2014, he confirmed he had been sober for almost a year. Two months after that interview, the DJ was hospitalised in Miami due to a blocked gall bladder, which he later had removed along with his appendix. In September 2014, he was forced to cancel a string of shows due to health concerns. At the time a spokesperson said that the DJ would recuperate in his native Stockholm until he had recovered enough to work on the follow-up to his 2013 album ‘True’.
The result was ‘Stories’, released in October 2015. Five months later, in March 2016, Avicii announced his permanent retirement from performing live.
In 2017 he responded to Mike Posner’s ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’ lyric saying: “Mike’s a good friend, so I took it as an honour. And I agree – parties can be amazing, but it’s very easy to become too attached to partying in places like Ibiza. You become lonely and get anxieties. It becomes toxic.”
Who has paid tribute?
Thousands of fans at Coachella joined DJ Kygo to pay tribute to Avicii over the weekend.
Avicii’s music publisher Sony/ATV Music Publishing has issued the following statement: “We are mourning the incredibly sad loss of an exceptionally creative talent who we have been honored and proud to represent as one of our songwriters for a number of years. Our thoughts are with his family at this time”.
The likes of Calvin Harris, Madonna, Skrillex, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Diplo, Steve Aoki, Dua Lipa, Marshmello, Liam Payne, Craig David, Charlie Puth and more have paid tribute to the late performer. See tributes from Avicii’s peers on social media below:
Speaking to AP, Nile Rodgers also said he was ‘upset’ after performing with the DJ three years ago. He said: “It was a little bit sad to me because he had promised me he would stop drinking, and when I saw him he was drunk that night. And I was like, ‘Whoa. Dude. C’mon. What are you doing? What’s going on? You said that that was done’. I didn’t even stick around for his performance because it was breaking my heart.”