The sudden death of dance musician and producer Avicii has rocked the music industry, with tributes flowing for the 28-year-old who helped usher electronica into the mainstream.
Avicii, born in Sweden as Tim Bergling in 1989, was found dead in the city of Muscat, Oman, on Friday (local time).
The cause of death has yet to be announced, with Avicii’s publicist Diana Baron asking the public and media for the family’s privacy.
“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 statement read.
Avicii was among the first DJ-producers such as David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia, to guide electronic dance music to the mainstream with tracks played in nightclubs as well as Top-40 radio and chart-toppers such as Wake Me Up.
The musician won two MTV Music Awards, one Billboard Music Award and earned two Grammy nominations, after first performing in 2009.
Electronic dance musicians and pop music royalty have taken to social media to express their shock and grief at the news of the artist’s sudden death.
The queen of pop, Madonna, who worked with Avicii on her last album, Rebel Heart, in 2015 posted a photo with “Tim” in a DJ booth.
A post shared by Madonna (@madonna) on
Avicii retired from live performances at the peak of his success in 2016, citing health reasons and his passion for creating music in the studio.
“Two weeks ago, I took the time to drive across the US with my friends and team, to just look and see and think about things in a new way,” the musician wrote on his website in 2016.
“It really helped me realise that I needed to make the change that I’d been struggling with for a while.”
He wrote that the lifestyle was exhausting and left too little room for the “life of a real person behind the artist”.
The musician had suffered from acute pancreatitis, partially attributed to his excessive drinking. He had his gall bladder and appendix removed in 2014.
Speaking to his retirement, Avicii told his fans in a message on his website: “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.”
American music producer Skrillex said he wasn’t close friends with Avicii, but felt a deep sadness at the news after remixing Avicii’s song, Levels, in 2011.
Skrillex said Avicii was a “genius” and “innovator”, but also a sensitive and humble person.
“I just wish I could have hugged him more and told him it would be okay. Your music will forever be a part of mine and so many others live,” Skrillex wrote.
Avicii’s collaborators Aloe Blacc and Rita Ora also expressed their condolences on social media.
I have no words. I remember how amazing it was to make Lonely Together and it felt like just yesterday we were talking. Condolences to Avicii's family, friends, and the fans who supported him. May he rest in peace. Gone too soon. I’m devastated. Heartbroken.
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) April 20, 2018
Singer Nick Jonas said, “Rest in peace Avicii” before singing a tribute to the 2013 number-one song, Wake Me Up, at a live concert on Saturday.
— Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) April 21, 2018
Politicians were among Avicii’s fans, including former US President Barack Obama, who once told a summit of US-Nordic leaders from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland of his appreciation for Nordic dance music.
“Some of us dance and sing to ABBA … and Avicii,” he said at a White House welcoming ceremony in May, 2016.
Avicii also DJ-ed the wedding reception of Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip and his bride Sofia in 2015.
“We had the honour to have known him and admired him both as an artist and the beautiful person that he was,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said.
In August 2017, Avicii released a six-track EP entitled Avicii, which he said was the first of three instalments that would be his next album.
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467