Avicii, one of the biggest names in dance music was found dead Friday in Oman, a Middle Eastern country.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” a statement from his publicist said. “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.”
The DJ made hits collaborating with Rita Ora, Aloe Blacc, Madonna and others. Here are some things to know about the late artist.
He was born in Stockholm
Avicii was born in 1989 to Anki Liden, a Swedish actress, and Klas Bergling. According to a 2013 GQ profile, he got his start remixing songs and posting them on music blogs. His first DJ job was for a school prom.
“It’s been a very crazy journey.” Avicii told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. “I started producing when I was 16. I started touring when I was 18. From that point on, I just jumped into it 100 percent.”
His DJ name was inspired by a friend
A GQ profile on Avicii revealed that a friend told him Avici was a level of Buddhist hell. From there, he took on the name but added an extra “i” because Avici was already taken on MySpace.
He became mainstream with a song that sampled Etta James
Avicii’s 2011 song “Levels” samples Etta James’ “Something’s Got a Hold on Me.” The song was nominated for a Grammy and reached No. 2 on Billboard's hot dance/electronic songs and dance/mix show airplay chart.
His biggest hit set records
Avicii’s 2013 single “Wake Me Up”, which has vocals from Aloe Blacc, spent 26 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s hot dance/electronic songs chart. It held the record for the longest weeks at the top spot until 2014, when The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” stayed No. 1 for 27 weeks. The song also topped the alternative songs, pop songs, adult pop songs and adult alternative songs charts. The music video for the song has more than 1 billion views on YouTube.
He retired from touring in 2016 due to health problems
“To me it was something I had to do for my health,” Avicii told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
His health problems included acute pancreatitis, which later led him to cancel shows in 2014 when he had his gallbladder and appendix removed.
Avicii still made music in the studio, releasing the EP “Avīci” in 2017.