Swedish DJ Avicii dead at 28
GRAMMY nominated Swedish DJ Avicii has died at the age of 28.
Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement this morning that the musician, born Tim Bergling, was in Muscat, Oman.
The circumstances surrounding his death are currently unclear.
"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii," the statement read, Variety reported.
"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."
Avicii was one of the few DJs capable of a worldwide arena tour, playing massive outdoor headline shows in Australia alongside regular festival slots.
He won two MTV Music Awards, one Billboard Music Award and earned two Grammy nominations.
He had six top 10 singles in Australia, most notably the 2013 chart-topper Wake Me Up.
His debut album True also reached No. 1 on the ARIA charts the same year.
His death comes just days after he was nominated for a Billboard Music Award for top dance/electronic album for his EP Avicii (01).
He became one of the world's highest paid DJs; in 2015, Forbes ranked him the sixth-highest-paid DJ in the world with an annual income of roughly $US19 million ($24.7 million).
Fellow DJ Calvin Harris was among those paying tribute on Twitter.
"Devastating news about Avicii, a beautiful soul, passionate and extremely talented with so much more to do," he wrote. "My heart goes out to his family. God bless you Tim x"
Devastating news about Avicii, a beautiful soul, passionate and extremely talented with so much more to do. My heart goes out to his family. God bless you Tim x pic.twitter.com/bmUAVFuNwt— Calvin Harris (@calvinharrisdj_) April 20, 2018
Sending our hearts and thoughts to friends, family and fans of the incredible @Avicii. Rest In Peace.— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) April 20, 2018
Something really horrible happened. We lost a friend with such a beautiful heart and the world lost an incredibly talented musician. Thank you for your beautiful melodies, the time we shared in the studio, playing together as djs or just enjoying life as friends.— David Guetta (@davidguetta) April 20, 2018
RIP @Avicii pic.twitter.com/IGiTYetJcq
Avicii had retired from live performing in 2016, citing health reasons. He had suffered from health problems for several years, including acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking.
He had his gall bladder and appendix removed in 2014.
In an oft-discussed interview with GQ Magazine, Avicii describes his alcoholism that led to acute pancreatitis as stemming from being "so nervous," and "(getting) into a habit (of drinking), because you rely on that encouragement and self-confidence you get from alcohol, and then you get dependent on it."
He posted the following statement on his website last year.
"To me it was something I had to do for my health," he said. "The scene was not for me. It was not the shows and not the music. It was always the other stuff surrounding it that never came naturally to me. All the other parts of being an artist. I'm more of an introverted person in general. It was always very hard for me. I took on board too much negative energy, I think."
Bergling was part of the wave of DJ-producers, like David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia, who broke out on the scene as lead performers in their own right, earning international hits, fame, awards and more like typical pop stars.
Avicii even collaborated with high-profile acts, producing Madonna's Devil Pray and the Coldplay hits A Sky Full of Stars and Hymn for the Weekend.
Avicii is the subject of the 2017 Levan Tsikurishvil documentary Avicii: True Stories, "the untold story behind the artist" which tracks his lightning-fast rise to fame following his 2010 hit Levels.
It also delves into his struggle with the relentless touring schedule that comes with being one of the world's most in-demand DJs.
"It got to a point where it was too much," he said in the documentary, which shows him working on a laptop from a hospital bed hooked up to IV drips.
"I don't really like being the centre of attention."
In September 2017 Bergling discussed his health troubles in an interview with Rolling Stone, lamenting "Why didn't I stop the ship earlier?"
"Parties can be amazing, but it's very easy to become too attached to partying in places like [Spanish island] Ibiza," he said. "You become lonely and get anxieties. It becomes toxic."
When Avicii announced his retirement from touring in 2016, veteran DJ/producer Laidback Luke, who signed the then unknown Swedish teenager to his label to release his first big hit Ryu, wrote an op-ed for Billboard about "the dark side of DJ stardom".
"The first few years of heavy touring can have a major impact on a person's life, health and sanity," Laidback Luke, real name Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen, wrote.
"DJs on tour average about four hours of sleep per night, and with drinking, afterparties, adulation and everything that comes with it, it's easy to lose oneself.
"They make many new friends - at least for the moment - and some find another new friend: alcohol or whichever vice helps them deal with feeling displaced all the time. The pressures of being on the road as a DJ are constant and relentless. Unlike pop, rock or rap, they don't tour in cycles - they're always on tour, virtually every week, sometimes every day."
He added that when he saw Avicii in August 2015, his friend looked "terrible" and "oh so tired", and he wondered if his friend would join "the infamous '27 club' of music and film stars who died at that age. It sounds horrible but it's the truth, and I can't take back the overwhelming sense of frustration I felt."