Tim Bergling, the Swedish DJ-producer who performed as Avicii, died of an apparent suicide. Bergling’s family shared a statement about the musician’s death, saying, “He really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace.”
“Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions,” Bergling’s family said. “An over-achieving perfectionist who traveled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.”
Bergling was at the forefront of the EDM movement that began to dominate the pop landscape in the early 2010s. His 2011 track, “Levels” – which featured a sample of Etta James’ “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” – became a crossover smash that topped the charts in dozens of countries. In 2013, he partnered with soul singer Aloe Blacc for “Wake Me Up,” a track that blended EDM and country, and peaked at Number Four on the Hot 100.
Over the next few years, Bergling worked tirelessly on his own music while collaborating with an array of artists like Coldplay, Madonna, Robyn, Major Lazer and Daft Punk. He also maintained a relentless touring schedule, and by 2014, was Number Three on Forbes‘ Highest Paid DJs list thanks to $28 million in earnings.
Bergling had a complicated relationship with the music industry and his own success, though. He stopped touring in 2016, at the height of his popularity, and his family said the decision was prompted by a desire “to find a balance in life, to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music.”
“I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform, but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist,” Bergling wrote at the time. He’d long been wrestling with the decision to stop touring and wrote that he was able to gain a new perspective during a cross-country U.S. drive with friends. “It really helped me realize that I needed to make the change that I’d been struggling with for a while,” he wrote.
In their new statement, Bergling’s family noted his ambivalence toward his profession. “Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in,” they wrote. “He was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight. Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed. The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.”
Bergling was found dead in Muscat, Oman April 20th at the age of 28.
“We are so grateful for everyone who loved Tim’s music and have precious memories of his songs,” the family wrote in a statement earlier this week. “Thank you for all the initiatives taken to honor Tim, with public gatherings, church bells ringing out his music, tributes at Coachella and moments of silence around the world.”
This is a developing story
Statement From Avicii’s Family
Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions.
An over-achieving perfectionist who traveled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.
When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music.
He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness.
He could not go on any longer.
He wanted to find peace.
Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight.
Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed.
The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.