Swedish DJ and producer Avicii was found dead on Friday, his publicist confirmed. He was 28.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his publicist said in a statement. “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.”
The cause of death has not yet been released.
The DJ’s family released a statement Monday that thanked fans for “the support and the loving words about our son and brother.” His publicist released a second family statement on Thursday but said she could not comment on what it might imply:
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,
Avicii gained mainstream popularity and became one of the decade’s first major EDM stars in 2011 on the strength of his self-produced single “Levels.” The breakout hit sampled Etta James’s “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” and was the primary sample in rapper Flo Rida’s hit “Good Feeling.” The DJ quickly transformed into the face of EDM, performing around 300 gigs both that year and the next. “Levels” and “Sunshine,” a collaboration with French DJ David Guetta, received Grammy nominations for best dance recording.
In 2012, Avicii debuted remixes of Madonna’s “Girls Gone Wild” and Lenny Kravitz’s “Superlove” at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. (Speaking about working with Madonna, he told The Post in 2012: “That was really cool for me because she’s such a musical icon, and it was just an honor.”) He headlined the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago that same year and tirelessly kept his career going, his music once again blaring on mainstream radio stations with 2013’s “Wake Me Up.” His most recent release, “AVĪCI (01),” received a Billboard Music Award nomination for top dance/electronic album on Tuesday.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Avicii’s music publisher since 2010, issued the following statement on Friday: “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.”
Avicii canceled tour dates in 2014 after having his gall bladder and appendix removed. He had been hospitalized twice in the preceding two years for acute pancreatitis, according to Billboard, and eventually retired from touring in 2016.
“Two weeks ago, I took the time to drive across the U.S. with my friends and team, to just look and see and think about things in a new way,” he shared in a public letter, according to Billboard. “It really helped me realize that I needed to make the change that I’d been struggling with for a while.”
The DJ told the Hollywood Reporter shortly after: “I was nervous when I made the announcement, mainly that I would look ungrateful. But I’ve gotten so many supportive texts from friends in the industry, other DJs, other artists. The fan response has been incredible. And even the press response has been incredible. So yeah, it’s been a lot better than I expected.”
Several of Avicii’s peers reacted to the news of his death on Twitter Friday afternoon.
Fellow DJ and music producer Calvin Harris called Avicii “a beautiful soul, passionate and extremely talented with so much more to do, and deadmau5 tweeted that “nobody can deny what he has accomplished and done for modern dance music.” Imagine Dragons referred to working with Avicii as “one of my favorite collaborative moments.”
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Elahe Izadi contributed to this report.