Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 25 April 2019

Avicii's family to launch mental health and suicide prevention foundation

The Tim Bergling Foundation announcement comes nearly one year after the star died in Oman

Swedish DJ Avicii was found dead from a suspected suicide in Oman last year. AP
Swedish DJ Avicii was found dead from a suspected suicide in Oman last year. AP

Swedish DJ-producer Tim Bergling, who was better known as Avicii, one of electronic dance music's rising stars, was only 28 years old when he was found dead in Oman.

It was on April 20, 2018, and was a suspected suicide, although fans had described him as "full of life" in the hours that led up to his death. At the time, his family issued a statement saying that he had struggled with life and "could not go on any longer".

Now, nearly one year on, the family has announced the launch of the Tim Bergling Foundation, which will aim to raise money and awareness for a variety of causes, starting with those related to mental health and suicide prevention. But they also hope to tackle hot-topic issues such as climate change, endangered species and nature conservation, too, in Avicii's home country as well as overseas.

"Tim wanted to make a difference," his family said. "Starting a foundation in his name is our way to honour his memory and continue to act in his spirit."

Fame and glory

Avicii's sudden rise to fame came about in 2011, when he released the hit, career-making song Levels. Billboard dubbed it as one of the most important pop songs of the 21st century, as the DJ thrust EDM into the mainstream.

He began to rigorously tour music festivals around the world, and also earned two Grammy nominations. His 2013 country-dance mash-up Wake Me Up (featuring Aloe Blacc) went to No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and he also regularly appeared on Forbes' Highest Paid DJs list.

Avicii was also a producer, having worked with the likes of Madonna and Coldplay.

However, he suffered from health issues and retired from touring in 2016.

"Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions," his family said shortly after his death. "An overachieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress."

It's an issue that affects many DJs and musicians. Dutch star Hardwell also announced he'd be taking an indefinite break from performing last year because of his "rollercoaster life". It's not surprising then that burnout and mental health were at the centre of the discussion at October's Amsterdam Dance Event.

Clare Scivier, a behavioural psychologist and former artist manager pointed out: “We have seen recent cases where there should have been more awareness from managers who pushed some of their artists too far. And that comes down to a lack of education,” she said at the event. “We may now need to discuss a longer-term plan for an artist instead of focusing on looking for whatever money is available at this moment.”

Updated: March 27, 2019 01:54 PM

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