MIAMI’S ‘RAVE NEW WORLD’ CONCERT
Something totally unexpected happened at a rave concert at Miami’s annual Ultra Music Festival in the spring of 2013.
Swedish DJ-producer Avicii brought out a surprising band of singers, guitars and a banjo, mixing electronic dance music with bluegrass to rock the hall with an anthem called ‘Wake Me Up.’
Ravers didn’t know what to make of it that night, but in the coming days ‘Wake Me Up’ became a worldwide hit — the fastest-selling single of the year in the U.K., and jumped to No. 1 in 63 countries.
“A lot of dance music has gotten more and more repetitive, too focused on the dirty drop,” Avicii said at the time. “I was always interested in the melodic part of house music.”
FEED AMERICA TOUR
Avicii — real name Tim Bergling — toured the world several times and his original tunes and remixes kept hitting No. 1 on the charts. He was one of the highest paid DJs in the world, with a net worth of $75 million.
Bergling wanted to give something back, and in 2011, with his manager and executive producer Ash Pournouri, he launched the ‘House for Hunger’ concert tour and raised more than $1-million for ‘Feeding America.’
“I am so fortunate to be in the position where I can actually do that,” Bergling said. “I feel lucky every day when I wake up and am able to do what I love and make a living.”
But the lifestyle of an international superstar DJ can take a tremendous toll on the body and the mind, as people in the business will attest.
In 2012, Bergling was hospitalized in New York City with acute pancreatitis caused by excessive alcohol use. Two years later he underwent surgery and had his appendix and gallbladder removed.
His health continued to deteriorate and in 2016 he retired from live performances. But the pressure from his fans to keep touring was heavy and on April 18, 2018, Avicii died by suicide from self-inflicted injuries with a broken wine bottle. He was just 28.
A SENSITIVE GUY
“Tim was an over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress,” his family wrote in a statement after his death. “When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and to do what he loved most — music. 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.”