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The Sudden Loss of a Music Icon

By: Austin Krach

Most likely, you don’t know Tim Bergling. However, he is world renowned as his stage name, Avicii. Avicii is a DJ and producer from Stockholm, Sweden. He is known for global hits such as “Levels” and “Wake Me Up.” Tracing back to 2011, Avicii suffered from several health problems. These health issues include Acute Pancreatitis from excessive alcohol usage and the removal of both his gallbladder and his appendix. Unfortunately, on April 20, 2018, Avicii died at the young age of 28 in Muscat, Oman. At this time, preliminary speculation based on tweets from the DJ’s family suggest that Avicii may have committed suicide.

In 2011, Avicii’s “Levels” burst him into the mainstream. The song sampled “Something’s Got A Hold On Me,” by Etta James, and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance Recording in 2013. This song reached the top ten in the charts all across Europe and even hit the top spot in countries such as Hungary, Norway, and Sweden. In the US, it reached #1 on the US Dance chart. Avicii had his first Grammy nomination for a 2012 collaboration with fellow DJ David Guetta called “Sunshine.” Avicii continued to play at festivals all around the world, including Lollapalooza, and even become the first DJ to headline a show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

In March of 2013, Avicii announced his upcoming album True and played his new single “Wake Me Up” for the first time at Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida. “Wake Me Up” was officially released on June 25, 2013 and became a power-anthem of sorts. This country-tinged song features vocals from soul singer Aloe Blacc. “Wake Me Up” was a true radio juggernaut; it was played so frequently in the summer of 2013  that it seemed to be the only song in playlists. It reached #1 on the Spotify Global chart, and Avicii was the #2 artist. It even set a record for the longest time at #1 on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Song chart at 14 weeks. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is certified 6X platinum in the US. As of February of 2018, it is the most searched song on Shazam. The “Wake Me Up” follow-up, “Hey Brother” also had a moderate amount of success. It falls into a similar category as “Wake Me Up,” and Bluegrass singer Dan Tyminski sang the vocals. The song peaked at #2 on the UK charts, and it was Avicii’s last song to crack the US Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 before his death. In 2014, Avicii was name-dropped in Mike Posner’s 2014 hit single “I Took A Pill in Ibiza.” Earlier in the week, Posner and Avicii wrote a song together, entitled “Stay With You.”

In April of 2016, Avicii announced his retirement from touring due to health concerns. His final show was in Ibiza on August 28, 2016. However, Avicii still continued to put out new music. Avicii also co-produced music for others, such as “Hymn For The Weekend,” by Coldplay. In 2017, Avicii released a documentary entitled Avicii: True Stories. It discusses his retirement from the touring life as well as interviews with fellow musicians, such a Chris Martin of Coldplay, Tiësto, Wyclef Jean, and Nile Rodgers.

Although he was influenced by Daft Punk and Swedish House Mafia, he himself served as an inspiration to the next generation of DJs, such as Kygo. At only 28 years old, Avicii is truly gone too soon. There is no telling where his talent could have taken him. I’m sure he would have continued to create amazing music. Avicii will never be forgotten as his legacy will continue to be blasted from speakers worldwide.

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