New York: Swedish DJ Avicii (real name Tim Bergling), one of the world’s most successful DJs who helped lead the global boom in electronic music, died today in Oman. He was 28. Two years after his unusually early retirement, the Swedish DJ was found dead on a visit to the Gulf kingdom’s capital Muscat.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his publicist Diana Baron said in a statement.
“He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, 20th April. 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.”
While the death came as a shock, Avicii has spoken publicly in recent years about his health problems including pancreatitis, triggered in part by excessive drinking.
The condition forced him to cancel shows in 2014 as he had to have his gallbladder and appendix removed.
In 2016, Avicii stunned fans by announcing his retirement when he was just 26, saying that he wanted to leave the high-flying electronic music lifestyle.
His biggest hits included Wake Me Up, which went to number one across Europe in 2013 and featured the soul singer Aloe Blacc.
Bergling started out releasing music on Laidback Luke Forum in the late 2000s, where DJs and producers would post music and seek feedback from budding peers.
In 2011, he broke through to an international audience with the progressive house track Levels, which hit No. 1 in his native Sweden and on the U.S. Billboard Dance Club Songs chart — and earned him a Grammy nod. His 2012 David Guetta collab Sunshine earned him a Grammy nomination as well, and that same year, he became the first electronic DJ/producer to headline New York City’s storied Radio City Music Hall.
In 2013, Avicii released his debut studio album, True, which featured the game-changing, massive international hit Wake Me Up! featuring Aloe Blacc. Combining EDM, folk and country music, the song became a No 1 hit in many countries and peaked at No 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. His second album, Stories, dropped in 2015 and featured vocals from Chris Martin, Wyclef Jean, Robbie Williams, Matisyahu, Brandon Flowers, Gavin DeGraw and more. The EP Avīci (01) came out in Aug 2017 and featured his Rita Ora collaboration Lonely Together.
Avicii — who for years was one of the world’s most lucrative electronic musicians– in 2016 made number 12 on the list of top-paid DJs of Forbes magazine, which said he earned $14.5 million in the previous year.
Emily Goldberg, an ex-girlfriend of the late Swedish DJ, took to Instagram to share her most treasured photos of their time together as well as a message to the late star’s many fans around the world.
“‘Come on babe, don’t give up on us. Choose me, and I’ll show you, love.’ Those are the lyrics from a song Tim wrote for me. I wish I could have lived up to them,” she began by writing.