After retiring from live performing in 2016 due to health problems, Swedish DJ and producer Avicii was found dead on Friday in Muscat, Oman. He was 28 years old.
Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was an incredibly popular DJ, known worldwide for songs like Le7els.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” read a statement from his representative. “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.”
Bergling had been in ill health for several years, including acute pancreatitis brought on by excessive drinking. In 2014, he had both his gallbladder and appendix removed and cancelled a series of shows in an attempt to recover.
He posted a message to his official website in 2017 for his fans, reassuring them he was still going to be making music in the studio:
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.
The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new.
Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
Avicii was a pioneer of the contemporary Electronic Dance Movement (EDM) and a rare DJ capable of a worldwide arena tour. He won two MTV Music Awards, one Billboard Music Award and earned two Grammy nominations.
His death comes just days after he was nominated for a Billboard Music Award for top dance/electronic album for his EP Avicii (01).
His other hits include Wake Me Up!, The Days and You Make Me. He is the subject of the 2017 Levan Tsikurishvil documentary Avicii: True Stories.
DJs and music producers from around the world expressed their sadness on Twitter, including Calvin Harris and Canada’s own deadmau5.
“It’s been a very crazy journey. I started producing when I was 16. I started touring when I was 18. From that point on, I just jumped into it 100 per cent,” Avicii told Billboard magazine in 2016.
“When I look back on my life, I think: whoa, did I do that? It was the best time of my life in a sense. It came with a price — a lot of stress a lot of anxiety for me — but it was the best journey of my life.”
— With files from The Associated Press