The beloved Swedish DJ died by suicide in April 2018 at the age of 28
Madame Tussauds is keeping Avicii‘s legacy alive.
On Tuesday, the popular tourist attraction in New York City unveiled the wax figure for Tim Bergling, known professionally as Avicii, one of the most acclaimed DJ’s of all time who died by suicide in April 2018 at the age of 28.
The likeness of the late Swedish musician is placed behind a DJ set, with a big smile and one hand in the air. The figure is dressed in a black and white button-down shirt, a hat, and large black headphones around its neck.
In a statement to Billboard, NY Madame Tussauds manager Tom Middleton explained their reason for paying tribute to the beloved “Wake Me Up” hitmaker.
“We are always looking to create those celebrities who have made a significant impact on their field, and I think that it’s easy to see that Avicii is one of the most iconic musicians of our generation,” Middleton said. “For us, it was the perfect opportunity in conjunction with his family to really celebrate his life and his career and allow guests to relive some of this icon’s most notable performances.”
Middleton told Billboard that designers studied for hours to capture Avicii at as many angles possible to best deliver the replica of the DJ delivering a memorable performance.
Avicii’s parents, Klas Bergling and Anki Lidén, were also involved in the creation of the figure to honor their late son.
“It was honestly a real pleasure working with them,” Middleton said. “They were fantastic. They were really involved and engaged every step of the way, from the initial conversations of ‘Yes, we would love to be able to do this to celebrate his life,’ all the way through to when the first clay sculpts were done, the first paint job and to the final product.”
The wax figure will also include an experience for fans wishing to snag pictures with the beloved DJ.
“It will include clips and sound from some of his most iconic shows, whether that’s him playing in front of thousands of people at Tomorrowland, or him playing at smaller venues,” Middleton explained. “[We want to] allow our guests to sort of relive that, bring it to life with lights and sounds and get an experience that you’re just not able to get anymore.”
While helping create the replica, Middleton said he learned even more about Avicii, of whom he was a fan.
“I didn’t realize was how much work he did with charity,” he said. “He co-founded House for Hunger. He raised awareness about world hunger and donated lots of money to Feeding America as well. That was one bit I wasn’t necessarily aware of as a fan, something that even more so put him on such a pedestal for me.”
After Avicii’s death last April, his father and the family set up the Tim Bergling Foundation in his memory. The foundation’s goal is to support those with mental illness and is expected to later expand to include initiatives for climate change, endangered species protection and nature conservation.
The family released a statement after the hitmaker’s death describing him as “a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions,” and saying that he was “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,” the statement, which was translated from Swedish, said.
Avicii announced his retirement from touring in 2016, saying in a letter to his fans, “I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform, but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist.”