Swedish musician Tim Bergling, better known by his stage name Avicii, was found dead on April 20 in Muscat, Oman. Aged 28, Avicii died of an apparent suicide, leaving his family, fans, listeners, and enthusiasts devastated. After the announcement by his publicist, a short public statement by his family followed, highlighting the fact that he was “not made for the business machine he found himself in”. This statement further exemplifies the divide between the deified Avicii and the real-life “overachieving perfectionist” Tim.
Perhaps not best fit for the DJing business, Tim was described as “a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions”. He rose to fame with his 2011 track Levels and greatly contributed to the electronic dance music (EDM) genre in the early 2010s. Having performed over 300 gigs and been nominated for two Grammy awards, Avicii stood at the forefront of EDM in terms of both commercial and critical success.
He went on to collaborate with some of the most well-known stars in pop, including Coldplay, Madonna, David Guetta, and Daft Punk. At age 22, he made it to Forbes’ list of highest paid DJs. His fame only shot upwards with hit after hit: Wake Me Up and The Days, to name a few.
After years of continued tours, it became known that Avicii’s health was deteriorating. By 2016, the fact that his drinking had exacerbated his conditions was very much in attention to the point that he decided to retire from live performing “to find balance in life”. The music-producing journey that Avicii put himself through since the age of 16 had involved “a lot of stress and anxiety”, a price he had paid for the “best journey” of his life, as he recalled in a 2016 interview.