The world was shocked when Swedish DJ Avicii, real name Tim Bergling, suddenly died at the age of just 28. No cause of death was revealed. While Avicii’s fans grieved for the Wake Me Up singer, they also wondered what exactly had happened and why. Avicii’s family eventually released an ambiguous statement that answered some questions, but it also asked some extremely saddening ones.
Bergling, whose mother was Swedish actress Anki Lidén, was interested in music from a young age. And it was clear from the start that he was very, very good at it. In 2007, at the age of just 18, he was signed to the Dejfitts Plays label. He also chose a new name: Avicii, after Avīci, the level of the Buddhist afterlife where dead sinners go to pay off their karma.
Avicii was soon being invited to America to perform, and it became obvious to everyone he played for that his music was something new and different. In 2011 he released the track “Levels,” and multiple companies immediately bid for the rights to it. It became the DJ’s breakout song, being used in TV shows and at football games.