Avicii, the Swedish DJ born Tim Bergling who rose to the top of the electronic dance music scene but retired from touring in 2016 because of health concerns, was found dead today in Oman. He was 28. His publicist confirmed the news but gave no cause of death.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” Diana Baron 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.”
In early 2016, he announced his retirement from touring in a lengthy letter to fans on his website. Avicii suffered from ongoing health problems, including acute pancreatitis which caused him to have his gallbladder and appendix removed four years ago, two years after a pancreatitis scare, but was back making the festival rounds that summer when he abruptly canceled all his tour dates. In March 2016, he announced his retirement from touring because of lingering health issues.
- Avicii exploded onto the international EDM scene with his 2011 song “Levels,” which topped charts around the world including the U.S., reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart and going platinum.
- He followed that up with the international smash “Wake Me Up,” from his 2013 debut studio album True.
- The record also spawned the hit singles “Hey Brother” and “Addicted to You,” and by that time Avicii was headlining festivals.
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In addition to his own work, Bergling was an in-demand collaborator and remixer who worked alongside artists such as Coldplay (“A Sky Full of Stars,” “Hymn for the Weekend”), Wyclef Jean and Santana (the 2014 World Cup anthem “Dar um Jeito”) Madonna, Robyn, Major Lazer and Daft Punk. “Sunshine,” a collaboration with David Guetta, earned a Best Dance Recording Grammy nomination in 2012.
His next studio album as 2015’s Stories, which was less commercially successful but still made the top 10 more than a dozen countries, peaking at No. 17 in the U.S.
But of course, EDM music’s hardly about record sales. Avicii played and often headlined festivals around the world and in 2012 became the first DJ to headline Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, playing a pair of sold-out shows.