The untold truth of Avicii

Swedish DJ Avicii gained worldwide recognition for delivering hits such as "Levels," "Wake Me Up," and "Hey Brother," taking over the electronic dance music scene. With two Grammy nominations under his belt, Avicii, who also went by his real name Tim Bergling, was poised to continue hitting the top of the charts. When his death was announced April, 20, 2018, fans and fellow celebrities alike were stunned. How could a person so talented and so young have died so suddenly? He was only 28 years old. What could have possibly happened for his life to have ended so early?

As news about Avicii's death emerged, it became clear to all that there was a lot of information about this music star that most people didn't know. From his surprising passing to his shocking career moves, here is the untold truth of Avicii, a man gone far too soon.

His death was unexpected

It's safe to say that no one saw Avicii's death coming. His publicist, Diana Baron, shocked music fans when she released a statement about his passing. "It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii," the statement said, noting that the musician was found dead in Muscat, Oman on the afternoon of April 20 (via Billboard). "The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given."

Just days before Avicii's death, the artist had been nominated for a 2018 Billboard Music Award for best dance/electronic album, alongside The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, Kygo, and ODESZA. "Thanks for the nomination!" Avicii tweeted after learning the news, adding a prayer hands emoji to the post.

Since then, fans have taken to the tweet to grieve the loss of one of the world's top DJs. "Rip legend," one commenter wrote. "You made a lot of great songs and you died way too young."

Musicians were hit hard by his passing

Soon after news broke that Avicii had been found dead, some of the biggest names in music took to social media to express shock about the passing of a friend (via Slate). Fellow DJ and Taylor Swift's ex Calvin Harris tweeted, "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."

Zedd wrote, "No words can describe the sadness I'm feeling right now, hearing about Avicii passing away." Adding a broken heart emoji, he continued, "Thoughts go out to his family and friends…"

Singers Charlie Puth and Liam Payne also joined in as both celebs and fans grieved. "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," Puth penned. "@Avicii was a genius and a music innovator, and I can not believe he is no longer with us. RIP to the very best."

Payne tweeted, "Oh my god truly devastated for Avicii very very sad news way [too] young … what a talent he was. rest in peace."

Something tells us that there are more heartfelt messages to come…

He experienced health problems on the road

While no one could have predicted Avicii's death, the DJ had suffered quite a few issues with his health over the years. In his documentary, True Stories, which screened in select theaters in 2017, Avicii opened up about his struggle with acute pancreatitis — a condition that caused him significant physical pain (via Rolling Stone). According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of acute pancreatitis, a type of inflammation of the pancreas, often appear unexpectedly and last for multiple days.

Avicii was first diagnosed with acute pancreatitis in 2012, after being hospitalized in New York. According to Billboard, the condition was reportedly caused by the artist's heavy drinking. Following further health complications, Avicii, who had allegedly stopped drinking alcohol, had surgeries to remove his gallbladder and appendix in 2014. However, problems resulting from the surgeries later caused him to cancel shows that same year.

He battled anxiety

Despite being an internationally recognized star — and one of the highest paid DJs in the world — Avicii apparently wasn't too keen on living life as a celebrity, especially when it came to attending high-profile parties. Referencing Mike Posner's hit song "I Took a Pill in Ibiza," Avicii told Rolling Stone in September 2017, "…parties can be amazing, but it's very easy to become too attached to partying in places like Ibiza. You become lonely and get anxieties. It becomes toxic."

And while listening to music can be a way for most people to relax and relieve anxiety, the seemingly harmless activity was apparently nothing but stressful for Avicii. When asked if he'd attended any concerts, he confessed that he hadn't. "No, not really. I'm still traumatized," he shared, though he remained hopeful that one day he would again.

In that same interview, Avicii also commented on his inability to read his own emotions, which is apparently what prompted him to make a huge career change.

He retired from touring at 26

At a time when most people are still figuring out what they want to do in life, Avicii decided to put a stop to a major part of his successful career when he was just 26 years old. That's right, he made the choice to stop touring around the world. Avicii announced that he was retiring from touring in a lengthy post on his website in March 2016 (via Rolling Stone). Thanking his fans for their support and his team for its hard work, he wrote, "Two weeks ago, I took the time to drive across the U.S. with my friends and team, to just look and see and think about things in a new way. It really helped me realize that I needed to make the change that I'd been struggling with for a while."

He continued, "My choices and career have never been driven by material things, although I'm grateful for all the opportunities and comforts my success has availed me. I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform, but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist."

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter that same year, Avicii explained he'd retired from touring in order to focus on his health, noting that he'd often take on "too much negative energy" while on the road.

He was focused on creating new music

Though Avicii was over traveling the world on tour, he hadn't given up on his music career. In 2017, he shared on his website that he'd gone "back to the place where it all made sense — the studio." He explained, "We all reach a point in our lives and careers where we understand what matters the most to us. For me it's creating music. That is what I live for, what I feel I was born to do."

He continued, "Last year I quit performing live, and many of you thought that was it. But the end of live never meant the end of Avicii or my music." He added, "The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new. Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do."

That August, Avicii released a new six-track EP, Avīci, featuring artists like Rita Ora. As noted by Variety, the EP was to be the first of three installments that would make up his next record.

The meaning behind his stage name

Music lovers may have known Avicii's stage name, but they may not have understood the meaning behind the pseudonym. The Sun reported that Avicii can be translated to "without waves" in Sanskrit and Pali and can mean "interminable" or "incessant" when translated into English. However, according to the DJ himself, he chose his professional moniker because it means "the lowest level of hell," and that was "just cool," he told USA Today back in 2012. The publication confirmed the meaning of his name, citing a book on Buddhism and explaining to readers that "Avici" is a hell where people who had sinned during their lives are punished before being reborn.

So, why the second "i" in his name? Well, Avicii told USA Today that he added that so as to differentiate himself from another user on MySpace that boasted the name Avici. "I think a friend of mine told me about it first for something completely different, and I was kind of choosing my MySpace page at the time," Avicii recalled in the video Becoming Avicii on Vevo. "Everything else was taken, my real name was taken. I really like it now, though. I've really gotten accustomed to it."

And the name certainly helped him make an impact on the music world.

News of his death caused Twitter to shut down

When news broke that Avicii had passed away, fans were quick to take to social media to grieve the loss of one of music's most talented — and most promising — artists. So many fans, in fact, that Twitter reportedly shut down momentarily because the social media platform was flooded with tweets about the DJ's death. According to iHeartRadio, just minutes after reports about Avicii's passing were published online, people were unable to either tweet new messages or retweet others' posts. The report covering the outage shared a screenshot of Twitter at the time, showing a message that read, "Twitter is over capacity. Please wait a few moments and try again."

It makes sense that Avicii's passing would affect social media platforms, as the Swedish native had attracted fans from all over the world with his music. Fortunately, the Twitter meltdown didn't last long, and it was back up and running in practically no time.

Had he started drinking again?

As previously mentioned, Avicii had been afflicted with a number of ailments, including acute pancreatitis, and in an effort to combat the painful condition, he'd reportedly sworn off alcohol. But, while Avicii had allegedly said no to booze in recent years, he may have slipped and started drinking again shortly before his passing — this according to a report by TMZ. The gossip rag published a photo of Avicii taken just one day before his untimely death, showing the DJ, drink in hand, on a yacht alongside two men. Of course, it's unclear just what Avicii is drinking in the photograph.

However, the photo of Avicii with a beverage isn't the only sign that he may have possibly started drinking again. Record producer Nile Rodgers, who collaborated with Avicii on his 2013 album True, told the Associated Press that he'd been worried about Avicii because the artist had allegedly shown up intoxicated to a gig. "It was a little bit sad to me because he had promised me he would stop drinking, and when I saw him he was drunk that night," he recalled (via Metro). "And I was like, 'Whoa. Dude. C'mon. What are you doing? What's going on? You said that that was done.'"

Two autopsies were performed

While at the time of this writing it's not yet known if alcohol contributed to Avicii's passing, authorities have reportedly determined some factors regarding the musician's death. On April 22, 2018, Royal Oman Police informed the public that two autopsies had been conducted on the body of the late artist, and according to the police, there were no signs of foul play. "Two post mortems were carried out," the authorities said, noting that there was "no criminal suspicion" (via BBC News).

Avicii's cause of his death has not yet been shared with the public.

The same day that police announced some of the details surrounding Avicii's death, it was also announced that the DJ's body had been cleared for transportation back to his native Sweden.

Since the news of Avicci's death hit, fans have taken to grieving in their own way. On April 21, 2018, thousands of Swedish fans mourned Avicii's passing by taking to Stockholm to throw a dance party memorial featuring the DJ's hit songs at the Sergels Torg plaza as a way to honor and remember the star's life (via Billboard).

Was his death a suicide?

On April 26, 2018, Avicii's family members released a second statement regarding the DJ's passing, and their words imply that the artist may have taken his own life. "Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. An over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress," the statement read (via Variety). Noting that Avicii had tried finding a balance in life, the statement continued, "He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness."

The statement went on, "He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace. 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."

Previously, Avicii's family had thanked the DJ's fans for "the support and the loving words" they provided following his death (via Deadline).