Google on Tuesday paid tribute to Swedish superstar DJ, producer, songwriter, and humanitarian Tim Bergling with a doodle to celebrate his 32nd birthday. Known best by his stage name Avicii, redefined the dance-pop scene by mixing electronic music with many different musical genres. The video doodle, featuring one of Avicii’s most iconic tracks “Wake Me Up,” is created by artists Alyssa Winans, Olivia When, and Sophie Diao.
Bergling was born into a family of creatives in Stockholm, Sweden in 1989. From 60s soul to 80s glam-rock, multi-genre musical experiences played an important role in his upbringing. By 16, he was mixing tunes in his bedroom, and began writing uplifting, melodic electronic music soon after.
In 2011 he released the dance anthem ‘Levels’ under the name “Avicii,” breaking ground as one of the first electronic music tracks to climb the Pop charts. Desiring more than just industry success, Bergling also set off on “House for Hunger,” a 2012 American tour that donated its proceeds to combating food insecurity worldwide. That year, Madonna joined him in closing Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, where the pair broke the festival’s live stream viewer record.
From 2011 to 2016, he played an estimated 220 Avicii sets globally, including a five-year residency in Ibiza and sold-out shows at the 16,000 person Ericsson Globe arena in Stockholm. In addition to breaking down sonic boundaries with hits like the 2013 bluegrass-house-hybrid “Wake Me Up,” Bergling was also among the first DJs and producers to share the spotlight previously reserved for vocalists and instrumentalists.
Within a few years, Bergling racked up over a dozen global music awards such as Swedish Grammis Awards for Best Innovator (2012) and Best Artist (2014), as well as a World Music Award for Best Electronic Dance Artist (2014). In the U.S. he was nominated for several Grammys and won the American Music Award for Electronic Dance Music Artists (2013), the Billboard Music Award for Top Dance/Electronic Song (2014), and the MTV Music Award for Best Dance Music Video (2018).
Bergling was said struggling with mental health for years and died by suicide in 2018 at the age of 28.
In 2021, it was announced that Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe Arena would be changed to Avicii Arena. A symbol of Swedish pride, the arena stands today not only as an events venue but also as a hub for the exchange of ideas focused on mental health.
This initiative is led by the Tim Bergling Foundation, an organization founded by the Bergling family to honor Tim’s life and legacy, remove the stigma attached to suicide, and promote mental health awareness, especially among young people worldwide. Additionally, the foundation supports aid work in areas where Tim had a passion such as climate change, global hunger and preservation of wildlife and endangered species.