DJ AM, born Adam Goldstein, has been found dead in his New York apartment, police sources tell TMZ. The 36-year-old DJ, mostly known for his work with Blink-182’s Travis Barker and handling the music at big-name celebrity hot-spots, last tweeted some Grandmaster Flash lyrics from “New York, New York” — “New york, new york. Big city of dreams, but everything in new york aint always what it seems” — on August 25th. Sources tell TMZ he hadn’t been heard from in several days, and police broke down the door of his apartment when a friend knocked and got no answer. His rep issued a statement that confirms his death and adds, “The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear. Out of respect for his family and loved ones, please respect their privacy at this time.”
The New York Post reports that drug paraphernalia was found in the musician’s Lafayette Street apartment. Goldstein spoke openly about his past struggles with drug and food addiction, telling Glamour in a revealing interview that he started freebasing cocaine when he was 20 years old. “For the next four years, that’s about all I did — with the exception of deejaying, which I’d been obsessed with ever since I saw Herbie Hancock do the song ‘Rockit’ at the Grammy Awards,” he told the magazine.
He admitted his father’s verbal abuse made him turn to food, and he was obese by age 10. He started attending recovery meetings after a suicide attempt at 24, and underwent gastric bypass surgery at 30. After his surgery, he became a gossip-page staple for his high-profile relationships with Nicole Richie and Mandy Moore. But he remained devoted to his music, beginning a partnership with Barker after having briefly been a member of Crazy Town and contributing to albums by Papa Roach and Will Smith.
Almost exactly one year ago, Goldstein and Barker narrowly survived a Learjet crash in South Carolina that claimed the lives of the two pilots and two passengers. Barker recalled the harrowing moments during the pair’s escape in a recent Rolling Stone profile: “I was lying next to AM as the plane was exploding, and I was screaming, ‘Are we alive?’ “
In April, Goldstein signed a deal with MTV to host Gone Too Far, an intervention-style reality show where young people with drug addictions would get the chance to turn their lives around. Us Weekly reports that he had begun to promote the series last month.
Barker’s on-and-off-girlfriend Shanna Moakler was one of the first to respond to the news online, tweeting, “My deepest condolences for DJ AM, you were a great artist and will be severely missed. My thoughts and Prayers to his family and friends.” ?uestlove added, “It’s one thing to lose a teacher I never met. But it’s some other shit to lose a teacher I knew,” and John Mayer posted, “In complete shock.”