After the devastating news of his death at just 28 years old, fans are turning to Avicii's final performance for comfort. It took place at Ushuaïa Ibiza, an open-air dance club in Spain where the late artist had previously held a five-year residency, and video of the Aug. 28, 2016 concert provides a way for fans to say goodbye to the DJ, producer, and musician.
According to early reports, Avicii passed on Friday, April 20, and his representatives gave the following statement to TMZ:
"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii. He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th. The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given."
No cause of death has been released, and the phrasing of the statement suggests that it won't be forthcoming, leaving many reeling. The death was already jarring because of its suddenness and Avicii's young age, but even more so because fans hadn't had a chance to experience their idol in concert in the months and years before his death.
That's because the Swedish musician retired from live performances in early 2016 via a deeply personal letter to fans written and posted to his website. "I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform," he wrote, "but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist." According to Billboard, that letter was written in March, and by August he was playing his last show in Ibiza.
Videos of the evening are available on YouTube, and the most heart-breaking of them all is the one where the artist says goodbye and thanks his fans. "Thank you so much for tonight," he says in the 30-second clip, which YouTube user Alessandro Lippi says is from the final moments of Avicii's final show. "I could not ask for a better last show. Thank you so much for coming, you’re awesome."
It's a heartbreaking moment, but at the very least, it's a relief that everyone present knew that it was the last time. Even though Avicii's retirement at age 26 was extraordinarily early, it was hardly a surprise, because he'd been vocal for years about the toll his career was taking.
As the "Wake Me Up" artist shared in a 2013 interview with People, he'd been pushing hard since he was a teenager, and it was beginning to result in health problems. "I’m tired, really tired," he told the outlet, three years before announcing his early retirement. "I’ve been at it since I was 17, 18 years old … touring pretty much nonstop, 300 shows a year. It’s been very hectic." In that same year, 2013, Avicii shared with GQ that he had developed acute pancreatitis in 2012 due to excessive drinking, which he told the outlet he did to calm his nerves before shows.
According to an April 2014 post from SPIN, doctors wanted to remove the young performer's gallbladder at that time, during what WENN claims was a 11-day recovery in a New York City hospital. But Avicii resisted until an appendix rupture two years later forced him to cancel shows and sent him back to the hospital to have both his appendix and gallbladder removed.
But even with all the health-related obstacles that cropped up in his life, and his early retirement, the performer was still dedicated to his craft. On his website, the DJ promised his fans that even though he was no longer performing live, he had plans to return to the studio. And Avicii's final message to fans is still live: "We all reach a point in our lives and careers where we understand what matters the most to us," he wrote. "For me it’s creating music. That is what I live for, what I feel I was born to do."
And it's what he did for much of his time on this planet, so in the wake of a tragic death — congratulations to Avicii on a life well-lived.