Swedish-born producer and DJ known as Avicii has been found dead in Oman.
The musician – born Tim Bergling – was 28.
Avicii’s publicist Diana Baron confirmed the news in a statement that the DJ was in Muscat, Oman when he passed away.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” Baron 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.”
Avicii was known as a pioneer of the Electronic Dance Movement. Bergling chose the moniker “Avicii” because the word represented the lowest level of Buddhist hell.
He was one of the most successful DJs in the electronic music industry.
The musician found crossover pop success with his 2011 track “Le7els,” which sampled Etta James, going platinum in the US and becoming a number one single internationally.
Avicii also collaborated with other artists and remixed their songs, working with Madonna, Robyn, Major Lazer, Daft Punk Coldplay (“A Sky Full of Stars”, “Hymn for the Weekend”) and Wyclef Jean and Santana (the 2014 World Cup anthem “Dar um Jeito”).
The DJ earned a Grammy nod in 2012 for “Sunshine” – a collaboration with David Guetta.
While he had been making music prior to “Le7els,” the track launched his career at 20 years old.
In 2012, he ended up on Forbes’ “Highest Paid DJs list”, and became number three on the list by 2014.
Throughout his career, he took home two MTV Music Awards, one Billboard Music Award and earned two Grammy nominations.
Just days before his death, Avicii was nominated for a Billboard Music Award for top dance/electronic album for what would be his final EP, Avicii (01).
“Mike’s a good friend, so I took it as an honour,” Bergling divulged to Rolling Stone in 2017, one of his last interviews before his death.
In 2016, Avicii retired from performing live at the age of 26 after experiencing a variety of health problems including acute pancreatitis, partially due to drinking.
He released a statement about his decision to retire via his website after the release of Avicii (01): “We all reach a point in our lives and careers where we understand what matters the most to us. For me it’s creating music. That is what I live for, what I feel I was born to do. Last year I quit performing live, and many of you thought that was it. But the end of live never meant the end of Avicii or my music. Instead, I went back to the place where it all made sense – the studio. The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new.”
Two years prior, he had his gallbladder and appendix removed, and he cancelled a series of tour dates in order to recover.
“It’s been a very crazy journey,” he said of touring to 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 100 percent.”
He added, “When I look back on my life, I think: whoa, did I do that? It was the best time of my life in a sense. It came with a price – a lot of stress a lot of anxiety for me – but it was the best journey of my life.”
Despite retiring, he continued to make music in the studio.
He posted on Instagram for the last time on April 4 where he wrote, “It’s always sunny in California.”