Avicii's Family Implies the Star Died from Suicide in New Statement
"Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in," his family said in a new statement
The family of the late Swedish deejay and producer Avicii (born Tim Bergling) released a new statement on Thursday implying the star died from suicide.
In a letter obtained by PEOPLE (which was translated from Swedish), the musician’s family calls him “a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions” and “an over-achieving perfectionist who traveled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.”
“When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most — music. He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace,” continues the statement. “Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight. Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed. The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive. We love you, Your family.”
On Sunday, the Royal Oman Police told CNN they had ruled out any suspicion of foul play.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his rep told PEOPLE in a statement on April 20. “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.”
“Two postmortems were carried out … and we can confirm that there is no criminal suspicion in the death,” authorities told the outlet.
“He was totally thrown into this. All he wanted was to make beautiful music,” said deejay Laidback Luke — who mentored the late musician (born Tim Bergling) when he was a teen. “2015 was the last time I saw him face to face, and I remember there wasn’t much Tim left. Tim looked to me kind of like a zombie. He had aged significantly. When I saw him perform, it was as if he wasn’t in touch with life anymore.”
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Another friend described Avicii as the “nicest, most generous and hardworking guy” who had a deep “passion for creating music.”
“He was extremely talented. He was always very honest about how he hated being a celebrity,” said the pal, who first befriended Avicii in the early years of his success. “It was very difficult for him emotionally. He was never comfortable being in a social spotlight.”
Indeed, another source close to the late entertainer explained that “Tim was Avicii, but Avicii was never Tim. He was sweet, sensitive and like a guy that didn’t want to be at the party, let alone the reason people were there.”
“Parties, the scene, leeches instead of friends … it was all too much for his sensitive soul,” continued the source. “He wanted to watch movies all night, not party all night. It’s like he didn’t know who he was without his career, but his career was killing him — literally.”
In early 2016, he announced his retirement from touring in a lengthy letter to fans on his website. Avicii — who was 28 at the time of his death — suffered from ongoing health problems, including acute pancreatitis which caused him to have his gallbladder and appendix removed four years ago.
“We all reach a point in our lives and careers where we understand what matters the most to us,” he wrote on his website. “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.”
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“The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do,” he continued.
In an interview in 2013 with PEOPLE, the entertainer reflected on the toll touring had taken on him.
“I’m tired, really tired,” he said. “I’ve been at it since I was 17, 18 years old … touring pretty much nonstop, 300 shows a year. It’s been very hectic. The [schedule] has been stripped down a lot for the upcoming couple of months and I’m not going to be doing that much, just doing some promos, a couple of shows, but no heavy touring. I need a break.”
“We would like to thank you for the support and the loving words about our son and brother. We are so grateful for everyone who loved Tim’s music and have precious memories of his songs,” they said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Monday.
“Thank you for all the initiatives taken to honor Tim, with public gatherings, church bells ringing out his music, tributes at Coachella and moments of silence around the world. We are grateful for the privacy during this difficult time. Our wish is that it continues that way. With love, The Tim Bergling Family,” the statement concluded.
Avicii broke out with his smash hit “Levels” and also produced massive songs including “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Reporting by JEFF NELSON