Last Friday, the dance world was rocked by the news that superstar DJ and producer Avicii — real name Tim Bergling — had been found dead.
His death was confirmed on Friday afternoon by his US publicist Diana Baron, who stated that the Swedish artist was found dead in Muscat, Oman. He was 28 years old. In the days since, a number of high-profile dance acts have paid tribute to the late artist during their sets.
While headlining the mainstage at Coachella on Friday night, Norwegian producer Kygo told the crowd that Avicii was his “biggest music inspiration”, and a “true musical genius.”
“Earlier today I got the news that Avicii had passed away, only 28 years old,” Kygo told the crowd, visibly holding back tears. “Avicii was my biggest musical inspiration, and he was the reason I started making electronic music. I don’t think I would have been on this stage tonight if it wasn’t for him.
“I know he has inspired millions of other producers out there. I want to end my set tonight with my favourite Avicii song. In honour of Avicii, I want you guys to dance and sing along, and let’s celebrate the life of a true musical genius.”
He then closed out his set with Avicii’s 2017 track ‘Without You’. Watch footage of the moment below.
Sydney export Alison Wonderland also honoured the Swedish DJ while on stage at Coachella the following night, ending her massive set by playing Avicii’s breakout hit ‘Levels’.
“I hope all my friends in the dance community are doing okay,” she wrote later on Instagram. “Rest in power Avicii.”
— james (@itsjameshayes) April 21, 2018
Back in his hometown of Stockholm, thousands of people gathered in the city’s main square Segels Torg for a memorial to the late artist, observing a minutes silence before playing some of the DJ’s biggest hits.
The Dutch city of Utretch honoured Avicii in a slightly different way: by rigging the city’s church bells to play ‘Levels’, ‘Wake Me Up’, and ‘Without You’.
Artists such as Tiësto, Kaskade, and Steve Aoki also spoke on SiriusXM’s BPM channel about Avicii’s career and influence on modern dance music.
“I knew him from the beginning, he used to send me mash-ups,” Tiesto told the station. “I met him in Sweden when I lived there in 2010… he was a very humble, nice guy, very sweet. He just always thought out of the box. He came up with different melodies.”
“He had a little bit of stage fright, so it was very tough for him to be on stage and perform,” he continued. He loved to be in the studio.”
Tiësto also revealed that Avicii had spoken to him about the possibility of touring again.
Aoki told the station that Bergling was “one of the most important figures for EDM.”
“When I really go back what Avicii did to electronic music, I literally can hear him in all these songs even if they aren’t his songs,” said Aoki. “He is one of the most important figures for EDM, that term, to even exist. That term is maybe 10 years old, and Avicii broke that term into existence. You know there’s a few artists who can do that, and he is one of them.”
While no cause of death has been made public yet, Avicii had suffered from health problems for a number of years — in part due to excessive drinking. He was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis in 2013, and underwent surgery in 2014 to have his gallbladder and appendix removed.
After cancelling a string of shows in 2014 and 2015, he officially retired from touring in March 2016.
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