Tim Bergling, the Swedish DJ and electronic dance music producer who rose to fame under the stage name Avicii, was found dead Friday in Muscat, the capital of Oman. He was 28.
His death was confirmed by a spokeswoman, Diana Baron, who did not specify a cause. He was in Oman, a popular vacation destination on the Arabian Peninsula, to visit friends, she said.
“The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time,” Baron said.
Avicii became famous with his 2011 hit “Levels” and was part of a wave of electronic dance music DJs who achieved pop-star levels of prominence. His songs have been streamed more than 1 billion times on Spotify.
He was nominated for two Grammy Awards for best dance recording, in 2012 and 2013, and his most well-known song, “Wake Me Up,” reached the No. 4 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. He also released two albums: the platinum “True,” in 2013, and “Stories,” in 2015. Both “Levels” and “Wake Me Up” were certified platinum; the singles “Waiting for Love,” “The Nights,” “You Make Me” and “I Could Be the One” — a collaboration with Nicky Romero — went gold.
His most recent release was the 2017 EP “Avīci (01),” a six-track collection that was intended to be the first in a series of three EPs.
The songs on “True” frequently blended folk instruments with dance beats. “Wake Me Up,” a song that lingered on the Hot 100 for more than a year, featured soulful vocals from Aloe Blacc singing about the lessons of youth:
“So wake me up when it’s all over,
When I’m wiser and I’m older,
All this time I was finding myself, and I
Didn’t know I was lost.”
On his recordings Avicii teamed up with a wide range of musicians, including bluegrass artist Dan Tyminski, country-rock singer Zac Brown, glam-pop vocalist Adam Lambert and rapper-singer Wyclef Jean.
He produced music for Madonna and Coldplay and became one of the world’s highest paid DJs. In 2015, Forbes ranked him as the world’s sixth-highest-paid DJ, estimating his annual earnings at $19 million.
But Avicii retired from international touring in 2016 at age 26 after a series of health scares that struck while he was on the road.
He had his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014. Before that, at 21, he learned he had acute pancreatitis, which he said was related in part to excessive drinking.
“I was drinking way too much, partying in general way too much,” he said in a 2013 interview with Time magazine. “So that forced me to do a 180 and stop drinking.”
Tim Bergling was born in Stockholm on Sept. 8, 1989, to Klas Bergling and Anki Lidén.
He is survived by his parents; his sister, Linda Sterner; and his brothers, Anton Körberg and David Bergling.
After his retirement, Avicii reassured his fans that he would continue to record music in the studio, which was “the place where it all made sense,” he said in a statement posted to his website. Making music, he wrote, was “what I feel I was born to do.”
“The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys,” he added. “It is the beginning of something new.”