The DJ/record producer was born in Stockholm, Sweden. As a teen, boredom took hold during the dark, cold months, and he downloaded the Fruity Loops software and taught himself how to create house music.
His real name is Tim Bergling, but he started using the moniker Avicii back in his MySpace days. In Sanskrit, the term Avici (Bergling added an extra i) means "without waves," but in Buddhism, it's also the name for the lowest level of hell.
His father ran an office-supply company in Stockholm, while his mother is Anki Liden, a famous Swedish actress who appeared in the Oscar-nominated film My Life as a Dog (1985).
Although he first scored a hit with "Seek Bromance," his breakthrough performance was at Miami's Ultra Music Festival in 2011, and his smash single "Levels
" launched him into the mainstream.
His 24th birthday was spent at a shooting party in the Nevada desert. He told Rolling Stone: "We went out in the desert with, like, 30 guns and $400 of stuff we bought at Walmart to shoot at... lots of cantaloupes."
He told Us Weekly his first DJ gig was a school prom for a crowd of 40 teenagers.
Avicii was the most successful songwriter in Sweden in 2015. He claimed no less than six of the country's top 100 most popular songs of that year. Avicii ranked ahead of such prominent tunesmiths as singer-songwriter Tove Lo and international superstar hitmaker Max Martin.
His brutal work schedule and indulgences caused a number of health issues: he was hospitalized a number of times to treat problems with his pancreas and gallbladder. For the sake of his physical and mental health, he stopped touring in 2016. Avicii died on April 20, 2018 at age 28.
Longtime collaborator Carl Falk told Spin
about Avicii's inability to rest or even eat. "He'd call eight hours after I left the studio and he'd still be there with his half-eaten cheeseburger laying on the laptop. It was horrible to see. We had to make sure that he slept, that he ate."