Avicii, electronic dance music pioneer, found dead at 28

The Grammy-nominated DJ and producer, born Tim Bergling, was best known for "Levels" and "Wake Me Up."
by Associated Press /  / Updated 
Avicii
Avicii accepts the award for favorite artist in the electronic dance music category at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 24, 2013.John Shearer / Invision/AP file

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Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had huge success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday. He was 28.

Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish performer, born Tim Bergling, was found dead in Muscat, Oman.

"The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time," the statement said.

No more details about the death were provided. Oman police and state media had no immediate report late Friday night on the artist's death.

Avicii was an international pop star, performing his well-known electronic dance songs around the world for die-hard fans, sometimes hundreds of thousands at music festivals, where he was the headline act. His popular sound even sent him to the top of the charts and landed onto U.S. radio: His most recognized song, "Wake Me Up," was a multiplatinum success and peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. On the dance charts, he had seven Top 10 hits.

Grief over Avicii's unexpected death poured out from other musicians and producers on social media.

"Devastating news about Avicii, a beautiful soul, passionate and extremely talented with so much more to do. My heart goes out to his family. God bless you Tim x," said DJ and producer Calvin Harris in a tweet on Friday.

Others remembered Avicii for his innovative production style.

"Wow, I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to the man who really opened my eyes as to what my productions could one day sound like. @Avicii was a genius and a music innovator, and I can not believe he is no longer with us," said producer and songwriter Charlie Puth on Twitter.

Avicii was part of the wave of DJ-producers, like David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia, who broke out on the scene as lead performers in their own right, earning international hits, fame and awards like typical pop stars.

He earned his first Grammy nomination in 2012 for "Sunshine," a collaboration with Guetta. He earned a second for the Etta James-sampled dance jam "Levels," which reached No. 1 in Sweden.

His death comes just days after he was nominated for a Billboard Music Award for top dance/electronic album for his EP "Avici (01)." He won two MTV Music Awards and one Billboard award.

Avicii had in the past suffered acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking. After having his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014, he canceled a series of shows in attempt to recover.

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