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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Swedish superstar DJ and producer Avicii dead in Oman at 28

'Wake Me Up' chart-topping star of electronic dance music found in Muscat

Avicii performs in Chicago. Photo Daniel Boczarski / Getty
Avicii performs in Chicago. Photo Daniel Boczarski / Getty

Swedish DJ and record producer Avicii, one of the biggest stars of electronic dance music in Europe, was found dead Friday afternoon in Muscat, Oman.

Avicii, whose real name is Tim Bergling, was 28.

"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii," his publicist Diana Baron said in a statement.

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

No cause of death was given and Mr Baron said no further statements would be released. Oman police and state media had no immediate report late Friday night on the artist’s death.

In 2015, he DJ-ed the wedding reception of Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and his bride Sofia. The couple mourned him in a statement: "We had the honour to have known him and admired him both as an artist and the beautiful person that he was."

Fans and friends took to Twitter to share their shock and sadness.

"Oh my god truly devastated for Avicii ... what a talent he was," British singer Liam Payne wrote.

"Too young and way too soon," singer and songwriter Dua Lipa said.

"What an incredible force in music, you will be heavily missed," music artist Chrissy Costanza tweeted.

Avicii, known for hits like Wake Me Up and Hey Brother, announced in 2016 that he was retiring from touring. He later told Billboard magazine he had made the decision for health reasons.

"The scene was not for me. It was not the shows and not the music. It was always the other stuff surrounding it that never came naturally to me," he told Billboard.

"I'm more of an introverted person in general. It was always very hard for me. I took on board too much negative energy, I think," he added at the time.

However, he did not stop making music, releasing a six-track EP album in August 2017.

Avicii won a number of American Music Awards, Billboard music awards and MTV Europe Music awards for his EDM work. He also earned two Grammy nominations. His biggest hit was Le7els.

He created a global hit out of Coldplay's "A Sky Full of Stars," to which he added a layer of energetic electronica. He also helped produce Madonna's last album. On Instagram, the pop superstar posted a picture of herself in the DJ booth with Avicii and wrote, "So Tragic. Goodbye Dear Sweet Tim. Gone Too Soon."

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His death comes just days after he was nominated for a Billboard Music Award for top dance/electronic album for his EP Avicii (01). He was nominated alongside his peers, who have taken EDM mainstream of late — The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris and Kygo.

He is the subject of the 2017 Levan Tsikurishvil documentary Avicii: True Stories.

Avicii had in the past suffered acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking. After having his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014, he cancelled a series of shows in attempt to recover. He quit touring in 2016 but continued making music in the studio.

"It's been a very crazy journey. I started producing when I was 16. I started touring when I was 18. From that point on, I just jumped into 100 percent," Avicii told Billboard magazine in 2016.

"When I look back on my life, I think: whoa, did I do that? It was the best time of my life in a sense. It came with a price - a lot of stress a lot of anxiety for me - but it was the best journey of my life."

Last year, he posted this message on his website, promising to keep creating: "The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new."

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, awards and more like typical pop stars.

In an interview in 2013 with People magazine, the entertainer reflected on the toll touring had taken on him.

“I’m tired, really tired,” he said. “I’ve been at it since I was 17, 18 years old … touring pretty much nonstop, 300 shows a year. It’s been very hectic. The [schedule] has been stripped down a lot for the upcoming couple of months and I’m not going to be doing that much, just doing some promos, a couple of shows, but no heavy touring. I need a break.”