Avicii was only 28. In just a few short years he had amassed millions and his world-wide fame spiked to 320 performances in a year. People in the entertainment business use terms such as his ‘meteoric rise’ to describe his popularity after the release of his hit-single Levels in 2011. The lyrics were simple –

Oh, sometimes
I get a good feeling, yeah
I get a feeling that I never, never, never, never had before, no
I get a good feeling, yeah
Oh, sometimes
I get a good feeling, yeah

I get a feeling that I never, never, never, never had before, no
I get a good feeling, yeah

Success and Fame

Levels became the #1 hit in Sweden and on the Dance music charts in the United States. It became a top ten hit in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. (1)

Avicii was just 16 when he ventured into the music world. He started uploading his EDM (Electronic Dance Music) from his bedroom in Stockholm, Sweden. It seems he was inspired by his older brother who was a DJ. Those who know the trade, say he was a “prolific producer and released music incredibly quickly.” (2)

By age 20 he was criss-crossing the Atlantic Ocean to places like Miami to ‘spin at EDM parties.’ Traveling, performing, and parties would be the norm for the young star. At the outset of his career, there were bidding wars for him – commanding $250,000 a gig.

Avicii pushed the boundaries of EDM but not everyone liked it. Some booed it. However, it was that very talented edginess and innovation that fueled his rise to fame and propelled him forward.

“At Miami’s Ultra festival in 2013, he debuted a new song, “Wake Me Up,” a strummy anthem blending bluegrass and house music. He brought a band onstage that included banjo and violin – and was booed. But the song went on to sell 4 million copies and was a Number One hit in 22 countries.” (3)

Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can’t tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start
They tell me I’m too young to understand
They say I’m caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes
Well that’s fine by me

So, wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
Didn’t know I was lost

I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands
Hope I get the chance to travel the world
But I don’t have any plans
Wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life’s a…

Inner Turmoil and Unrest

His own name, Tim Bergling, had already been taken online, so he came up with the stage name – Avicii. A friend told him it was a Buddhist term describing the ‘lowest level of Buddhist hell’.

Bergling wasn’t without his troubles. Sadly, the parties and drinking took their toll on him. He said the drinking helped to calm him in social situations. He was hospitalized in New York in 2012 (age 23) for acute pancreatitis.

The DJ’s friends were concerned about his fragile health. But the celeb-life was very demanding. Neil Jacobson, a Geffen Records executive said: “He had the duality of having a gigantic sense of theatrical ambition but, at the same time, being a very humble and simple guy. He was caught between the two, and the life began grinding on him.” (4)

Avicii stopped touring and returned to making music at home –just how he started. He constructed a studio in a vineyard in Tuscany, Italy. And it seemed his health began to return.

Tragedy in Oman

Just days before Avicii left for what would be his last vacation, Joe Janiak (songwriter-producer) spent time at another one of Avicii’s home-studios in Los Angeles. Janiak observed:

“You could tell he had spent a long time figuring out the puzzle, and he was trying to take charge of his life. He seemed pumped. That’s the shocking thing. He didn’t seem like a guy at the end of his days.” (5)

Just days later, at an estate owned by the royal family in Muscat, Oman, after posing with fans and spending time kite-surfing and sailing with friends, Avicii ended his life at age 28.

The UK Daily Mail newspaper reported that he used a broken wine bottle and died from the loss of massive amounts of blood. (6)

Grieving Loved Ones

A broken-hearted family published this letter after the artist’s death:

Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul, who always carried great existential questions.
An over-performing perfectionist who traveled and worked hard at a tempo which led to extremely difficult stress.
When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to feel good and be able to do what he loved the most – music.
He truly battled thoughts about Meaning, Life and Happiness. Now, he could not go on any more. He wanted peace.
Tim was not made for the machinery he ended up in. He was a sensitive guy who loved his fans, but shunned the spotlight.
Tim, you will forever be loved and missed. Who you were, and your music will carry on the memory of you.
We love you, the family. (7)

What About You?

Perhaps you are reading this just now with the very same kind of questions as Tim Bergling wrestled with throughout his short life. His family said he was a seeker. The great existential questions of life – meaning, purpose and happiness weighed heavily on his mind. They said he wanted peace. Maybe his big hit touched a chord with you:

So, wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
Didn’t know I was lost

Where not to look for meaning, purpose and peace is pretty obvious from the sad commentary above. But Avicii was just one of a countless number of stars and celebrities from every sector of society who reached the top of their game only to find disillusionment staring them in the face and emptiness cruelly gnawing a way at the core of their being.

Spiritual Advice

Friend, until you have a right relationship with God – things will never be right at the core of your being. The search, the longing, the existential pondering is proof that our Creator God placed within each one of us the capacity that only He can fill. No amount of success or the realization of one’s dreams could fill that unique inner capacity reserved for God alone.

Please turn to God. Please turn to His Word – the Holy Bible. Please consider the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Change direction. The course you are on will lead to the same end as others who have despaired of finding meaning, peace and fulfillment in life.

We aren’t talking about religion. The issue is your vertical relationship with your God. No synagogue, mosque, temple, church, chapel or holy building of any kind can fill your inner void.

Consider these four verses from the Holy Bible.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father [God] except through me.  John 14:6

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Jesus said: “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”  John 12:46

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

Will You Take Action Now?

Friend, it is time for you to get this settled. Jesus told His followers, “In the world you will have tribulation,” but He also said, “In Me you may have peace” (John 16:33).

Will you, as a minimum do this? Open the Holy Bible (hardcopy or online) and read the twenty-one chapters of the Gospel of John. Or, listen to it online. Let God’s Word speak to your troubled heart. We invite you to email us to discuss this further.

Sources

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levels_(Avicii_song)
  2. Ibid
  3. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/inside-aviciis-final-days-w519621
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5677489/Avicii-died-cutting-bleeding-death-report-say.html
  7. Ibid