Avicii dead at 28; one of electronic dance music’s top stars passes away suddenly

April 20, 2018

by John Larson

Avicii
Avicii (Photo courtesy of Universal Music)

Swedish DJ/producer Avicii (whose real name was Tim Bergling) died in Muscat, Oman, on April 20, 2018, his publicist has announced. Avicii was 28. The cause of death has not yet been revealed or determined.*

The Associated Press reported that this statement was issued from Avicii’s publicist: “It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii. 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.”

Born in Stockholm, Avicii was considered one of the top stars of electronic dance music. He may not have been the type of star who was a household name, but he carried considerable influence in the music industry, having had numerous chart-topping hits with various artists and as a solo act. His best-known songs were “Levels” and “Wake Me Up.” The latter song was a No. 1 hit in several countries, and reached No. 4 in the U.S., where “Wake Me Up” was certified six-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. He released two albums (2013’s “True” and 2015’s “Stories”) and four EPs. Avicii’s most recent collection of music was the EP “Avīci (01),” which was released in August 2017. The documentary film “Avicii: True Stories” was released in October 2017.

Avicii’s cause of death has not been publicly revealed yet, but he had been suffering from health problems, including pancreatic disease from alcoholism, which he talked about in many interviews. In 2016, he announced that he was retiring from touring for health reasons.

He is survived by his parents Klas Bergling and Anki Lidén.

*April 26, 2018 UPDATE: A statement released by Avicii’s family reveals that he committed suicide. He also reportedly left a suicide note, but the content of the note had not been revealed. His family’s statement reads:

“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,

Your family”

March 26, 2019 UPDATE:

The following is a press release from the Avicii estate:
A year after his passing on April 20, 2018, the Tim “Avicii” Bergling family are starting a foundation – the Tim Bergling Foundation – in his memory. The foundation will be everlasting. It will initially focus on supporting people and organizations working in the field of mental illness and suicide prevention.   Other areas in which it will be active are climate change, development assistance, nature conservation and endangered species. The foundation’s objectives may be pursued both in Sweden and abroad.
Tim wanted to make a difference – starting a foundation in his name is our way to honour his memory and continue to act in his spirit.
With love,
Tim’s family