On Friday, the “Levels” hitmaker, who was only 28 years old, was found dead in the Middle Eastern city of Muscat, Oman. His cause of death has yet to be revealed, but the EDM star — born Tim Bergling — suffered health problems for years.
When Avicii skyrocketed to mainstream fame with his 2013 smash hit “Wake Me Up,” he told PEOPLE he was torn about the fast living.
“I’m tried, really tired, but I’ve been at it since I was 17, 18 years old — touring pretty much nonstop, 300 shows a year, and it’s been very hectic,” he told PEOPLE at the time. “I need a break.”
In a 2017 Netflix documentary, Avicii: True Stories, the deejay, perhaps presciently, said continuing to work might kill him.
“I have told them this: I wont be able to play anymore,” he said in the documentary, which has since been removed from the subscription streaming platform. “I have said, like, I’m going to die. I have said it so many times. And so I don’t want to hear that I should entertain the thought of doing another gig.”
In 2012, Avicii suffered pancreatitis that would eventually lead to the removal of his gallbladder and appendix. The following year, in an interview with GQ, he admitted that performances made him “so nervous,” and he coped with the anxiety by drinking.
And in March 2016, he announced he would be retiring early from touring: “To me it was something I had to do for my health. The scene was not for me. It was not the shows and not the music,” he told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “It was always the other stuff surrounding it that never came naturally to me. All the other parts of being an artist. I’m more of an introverted person in general. It was always very hard for me. I took on board too much negative energy, I think.”
The body of Avicii will be returned to his native Sweden this week.
The Royal Oman Police told CNN they had ruled out any suspicion of foul play. “Two postmortems were carried out … and we can confirm that there is no criminal suspicion in the death,” authorities told the outlet.