Avicii’s death at age 28 in Oman stuns Hong Kong fans

Before the EDM star quit performing in 2016, he was known for his gruelling touring schedule, first appearing in Hong Kong at Dragon-i in 2011, then again in 2013

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 April, 2018, 5:23am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, 10:42am

The death of acclaimed electronic dance music star Avicii on Friday has stunned fans in Hong Kong, where he had performed twice in recent years and built up a loyal following. 

The 28-year-old Swedish DJ/producer was found dead in a hotel in Muscat, Oman, his representative said. No cause of death was announced. Born Tim Bergling, the EDM icon had suffered widely publicised health problems related to alcoholism. 

Star DJ Avicii has died in Oman, at age 28

Before he quit live performances in 2016, Avicii was known for his gruelling touring schedule. He first appeared in Hong Kong at Central nightclub Dragon-i in December 2011, then headlined a large-scale show at Kitec in Kowloon Bay in 2013. 

Patrick Rizarri, a Filipino DJ based in Hong Kong, didn’t catch any of Avicii’s local gigs, but had been a devoted fan since the release of the EDM star’s signature track, Levels, in 2011 and saw him live in Manila in 2013. 

“He was extremely fatigued from the constant touring. One day he’d be in Hong Kong, and right after the gig he’d hop on a private plane to another country to perform at another music festival or event,” Rizarri said. 

“I thought he had recovered and was laying low, enjoying his royalties, so I’m shocked [by his death]. It’s a shame to see someone in the industry gone too soon. It really shows that in this industry, health is wealth.” 

Another Hong Kong DJ, Simon Ng, became an avid fan when Avicii released his debut album, True, in 2013 – the same year he saw the Swede play live at the South Korea leg of the international EDM festival Ultra. 

“[His death] is quite tragic for someone of his age really, but his health issues had been widely discussed in the music scene,” Ng says. 

“When Levels hit the top of many charts, he was still pretty young. Plus he wasn’t a DJ to begin with – he was a producer. He only learned to DJ because he got so popular that he had to tour and do gigs.” 

Rizarri says he and other Avicii fans were hoping for a comeback album. “I think a lot of people in the electronic dance music scene were expecting him to return,” Rizarri said. 

Avicii’s fellow EDM stars have been posting tributes on social media. 

Canadian producer Deadmau5 tweeted: “My sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to the friends, fans and families of Avicii. Banter aside, nobody can deny what he has accomplished and done for modern dance music and I’m very very proud of him.” 

And American EDM giant Skrillex posted a photo of himself and Bergling on Instagram with the caption: “As long as human beings are alive on this planet, you will forever remain an inspiration."