Avicii Dies At 28: DJ Was Open About Health Issues & Problematic Drinking

By Victoria Kim 04/23/18
Avicii was dealing with a series of health issues including acute pancreatitis, reportedly caused in part by excessive drinking.
Photo via YouTube

EDM superstar DJ Avicii passed away on Friday (April 20) at the age of 28, shocking fans worldwide.

The Swedish DJ, born Tim Bergling, was vacationing in Muscat, Oman at the time, CNN reported. While the cause of death is yet unknown, Royal Oman Police has ruled out “criminal suspicion” after conducting two postmortems.

The Grammy-nominated EDM (electronic dance music) icon is known for his genre-mixing hit singles like “Levels” and “Wake Me Up.” He started producing music at the age of 16, and was touring by 18, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

But the hard and fast lifestyle of Avicii’s booming career eventually came to a screeching halt, when at the age of 26, he announced that he would be retiring from performing to focus on his health.

“It’s very easy to become too attached to partying,” he told Rolling Stone last year. “You become lonely and get anxieties. It becomes toxic.”

Avicii was dealing with a series of health issues including acute pancreatitis, partly caused by excessive drinking.

In 2013, he discussed his decision to stop drinking with TIME magazine. “Yeah I was drinking way too much, partying in general way too much,” he said. “Then I got a pancreatitis attack [at 21], which is very rare. So that forced me to do a 180 and stop drinking.”

Still, he didn’t find it difficult to be sober as a powerhouse DJ performing in packed arenas. “I can still party,” he told TIME. “I can be sober and party. It’s all a learning experience. I’ve gone out partying sober and I’ve met my new girlfriend from day one sober, and I’ve done everything sober. And I see how drunk everyone else is and I feel like, I kind of like not being hungover tomorrow.”

Avicii admitted that he was more introverted than he might have seemed. And his international fame and grueling touring schedule meant that he dealt with more stress and anxiety.

“I’m more of an introverted person in general,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. “It was always very hard for me.”

At the time of that interview, he was in the middle of his final global tour. He had already announced his retirement from the stage.

“I just feel happy. I feel free at this point. Like I have my private life back and focusing on myself for the first time in a long time,” he told THR. “This was obviously the hardest decision of my life so far. [But] it has paid off tremendously in terms of well-being for me. I’m happier than I have been in a very, very long time. Stress-free more than I have been in a very long time. I can’t say I’m never going to have a show again. I just don’t think I’m going to go back to the touring life.”

But despite the toll of performing and his decision to quit, he still looked back fondly on his career. He said that making music was “what I live for, what I feel I was born to do.”

“I just jumped into it 100%,” he told THR. “It was the best time of my life in a sense. It came with a price—a lot of stress [and] a lot of anxiety for me—but it was the best journey of my life.”

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr