The late superstar DJ, who died by suicide, struggled with the ‘dangerous combination’ of ‘fame and fortune,’ according to his father.
The father of the late Swedish superstar DJ, Avicii, opened up about his son’s tragic death, calling it the “worst moment” of his life. Klas Bergling revealed the musician, whose real name was Tim Bergling, struggled with mental health and abused substances to deal with “fame and fortune”, which ultimately caused him to die by suicide in 2018 at the age of 28. “I find it hard, still,” Klas said of dealing with the loss to Sunday Times. “But I will, one day.”
Growing up, Tim suffered from anxiety, according to Klas. “He was a shy person. He wasn’t the one that went into a room with lots of people and started talking or holding speeches,” he explained. When Tim found success as a DJ and was asked to perform on stage, Klas said the anxiety “became a problem.” Tim would begin coping heavily on alcohol, which caused multiple bouts of pancreatitis. Prescribed opioids for the pain, Tim soon abused those as well. “At that time I started worrying,” said Klas. “He was easily upset, easily irritated. It was hard to talk with him.” In 2015, the family staged an intervention. “It was one of the worst moments of my life because you really feel you’ve betrayed your son. But it had to be done.”
Although Klas said he was “naive” to think rehab would cure Tim’s problems, he was happy to see Tim seek treatment. His son would eventually quit touring in 2016 and step back from the stage in hopes of working on himself. Sadly, he took his own life during a vacation in Oman on April 20, 2018.
To this day, Klas finds it difficult to come to terms with his son’s death, as “part of the trauma” is not knowing a specific reason for the suicide. “It’s the way we are as human beings. We want to have an explanation.” All he can offer, he said, is that “fame and fortune” are a “very dangerous combination.”
Klas went on to build the Tim Bergling Foundation in hopes of recognizing suicide as a global health emergency. It also helps keep his son’s memory alive. “Tim was very proud of the Avicii name, but he didn’t want to be Avicii. He wanted to be Tim.”
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.