Avicii's family issued a statement earlier on Thursday, describing the late musician as an artistic and sensitive individual who overachieved in life and loved his fans, but "wanted to find peace" due to the stress that came with being a celebrity DJ.
In a statement quoted in full by TMZ, Avicii, who's real name was Tim Bergling, was described as a "seeker" and a "fragile, artistic soul" who worked hard to further his craft as a DJ and sought out answers to life's "existential questions." That hard work, however, led to what the late electronic dance music superstar's family defined as "extreme" levels of stress, which ultimately prompted him to retire from touring in 2016.
"When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music," wrote Avicii's family.
Speaking to Billboard shortly after his retirement from touring, Avicii explained that he felt nervous before he announced the decision on his Facebook page, concerned that his fans might see him as being "ungrateful." However, he added that his fans and friends were very supportive of his decision, which he said went down "a lot better than expected."
At the moment, Avicii's cause of death has yet to be announced, but TMZ speculated that his family's statement on his passing could be a sign that he had taken his own life. This sentiment was echoed by several publications, including Rolling Stone, which interpreted the following lines from the Bergling family's statement as a reference to suicide.
"He really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace."Avicii's family wrote that the man known outside the music world as Tim Bergling was "not made" for the industry, as he was a "sensitive guy" who loved the fans who looked up to him and supported his career, but ultimately was uncomfortable with his celebrity status.
While it still cannot be concluded that Avicii took his own life, his death at the age of 28 on April 20 came less than a year after the apparent suicides of two modern rock mainstays – Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell, and Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington. Cornell was 52-years-old when he was found hanging in a Detroit hotel room on May 18, mere hours after performing onstage with Soundgarden. Two months later, on July 20, the 41-year-old Bennington was found dead in his Palos Verdes Estates, California, home, having apparently killed himself in a similar fashion to his late friend Cornell. Another famed musician, Dolores O'Riordan, also died at a young age in January, and while suicide has been widely suspected, the Daily Beast pointed out earlier this month that no official cause of death has been released for the Cranberries singer.