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AVICII, 1989-2018

DJ/producer/recording artist Avicii, best known for the 2013 hit “Wake Me Up,” died Friday in Oman. He was 28.

Born Tim Bergling in Stockholm, Avicii’s death was announced in a statement. “It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii. 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.”

Emerging around 2009, Bergling developed a deep house style in remixes and productions that caught the attention of EMI, which signed him to a publishing contract. (He would sign a deal with Sony/ATV in 2013).

He cracked multiple Top 10s across Europe with “Levels” (Interscope) in 2011 and scored the first of his two Grammy nominations a year later for his collaboration with David Guetta, “Sunshine.”

It was “Wake Me Up,” however, that gave Avicii a ubiquitous presence in the mainstream. A dance track with acoustic guitar written with IncubusMike Einziger and featuring the vocals of Aloe Blacc, the song was the fastest selling single that year in the U.K. and went to #1 in 22 countries; it spent 21 weeks in the U.S. Top 10. Earlier this year, it was named the most Shazam-ed song in the app’s history. Since the news of Avicii's passing, the song has returned to the upper reaches of the iTunes chart; it's currently #3, while single "Levels" is Top 10.

Despite being released when downloads were the primary form of music consumption, the song has been streamed nearly 600m times on Spotify. In the U.S. alone, Avicii sold more than 424k albums and 11.7m tracks, and his songs were streamed more than 1b times.

"We are mourning the incredibly sad loss of an exceptionally creative talent who we have been honored and proud to represent as one of our songwriters for a number of years. Our thoughts are with his family at this time." — Sony/ATV

His second album, Stories, came out in 2014 and featured “Waiting for Love,” which went Top 10 in 16 countries. Last year, he released the six-track EP Avīci, which featured “Lonely Together” with Rita Ora.

He co-wrote and co-produced Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars” and co-produced their “Hymn for the Weekend.” He also worked with Madonna on multiple songs for her Rebel Heart album, only one of which, “Devil Pray,” was released.

Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge said, “Our entire company mourns Tim's passing and extends our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones—and to his many fans spanning the globe. He has left us far too young. He and his incredible creativity will be missed."

In April 2016, Avicii announced he was retiring from touring and from Las Vegas where his DJ sets were among the most popular entertainment events in the city. He last DJ’d at the Wynn in late June 2016 and in Europe in August of 2016.

Avicii said the retirement was due to health issues such as acute pancreatitis and the removal of his gallbladder and appendix in 2014.

He was also active in music-driven videogames, releasing Gravity, its followup, Gravity HD, and Invector with the Swedish company Hello There Games.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing issued the following statement: "We are mourning the incredibly sad loss of an exceptionally creative talent who we have been honored and proud to represent as one of our songwriters for a number of years. Our thoughts are with his family at this time."

Members of the music community were quick to offer condolences.

 

 

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