Avicii Wins a Posthumous MTV Video Music Award for Collaboration with Rita Ora
Rita Ora shared a sweet message with the audience about her close friend, who died suddenly in April.
Rita Ora and the Swedish deejay and producer collaborated on “Lonely Together,” his last song before his death in April. The track nabbed the best dance Moon Person.
The 27-year-old singer announced the news while introducing Colombian singer Maluma on the Radio City Music Hall stage in New York City.
“I wanna take a minute to say I just found out that Avicii and I won best dance, so let’s made some noise for Avicii right now, an amazing talent,” Ora told the crowd.
Check out PEOPLE’s full MTV VMAs coverage to get the latest news on one of music’s biggest nights.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his rep told PEOPLE in a statement at the time. “The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time.”
His family implied in another statement that the star died from suicide. In a letter obtained by PEOPLE (which was translated from Swedish), the musician’s loved ones called 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,” continued 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.”
Avicii had struggled with chronic health problems over the years, including pancreatitis from heavy drinking. He was laid to rest in a private ceremony in Sweden in June.
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Avicii kicked off his career with smash hit “Levels” released in 2011 and also produced chart toppers “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother.”
“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.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).