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On the last day, 28 March, as frustration and impatience grew, Tim broke down in tears. He left Los Angeles on 8 April and was unable to commit to another class before his departure. Skipper encouraged him to rest and suggested they meet on his return, although nothing was ever booked. Tim Bergling, his identity now known to her, had taken his own life while on holiday in Muscat, Oman — it was a global headline that centred around one of the most defining figures in contemporary pop music.

How could somebody so successful wish to be alive no more? His health problems had been well documented, splattered across newspapers and magazines for years, before being graphically shared last year in Avicii: True Stories. His departure from this world could not have come at a much stranger time. The trigger for the suicide remains largely unknown. Mental health issues in electronic dance music are much more common than one might think.

Downward Spiral | Definition of Downward Spiral by Merriam-Webster

Bergling found the spotlight early and suddenly. He was born in Stockholm , Sweden, in and began experimenting with music around Pancreatitis brought on by alcohol abuse required him to cut back on his drinking, but his relentless schedule continued. Bergling was only 18 at the time. Early releases appeared, united by their simple melodies, formulaic four-chord structure and success. It connected Bergling with the progressive house music scene on the other side of the Atlantic. By this point, Bergling was beginning to tour. In , he played for a small crowd in Miami without ever looking above the decks; it was clear he was more accustomed to life in the studio than on stage.

It became a top-ten hit around the world. It was an extreme and novel trajectory. Avicii was ambitious, stubborn, unaware how much his body could take Exploding in the Eighties, EDM has been around for a long time, but the late-noughties bore witness to its crossover with pop culture like never before. David Guetta, Axwell, Ingrosso and a few other protagonists found themselves in the mainstream charts. The scene was booming and Bergling was one of the first generation to be inspired by these names. He happened to make the right music and meet the right people.

The Spiral She Led Him Down & Putting Him Under - Two Complete Stories in One Volume

He was thrust out of his bedroom and into this unknown world For someone that young, without the right protection and without the right guidance, it can be extremely difficult to navigate. Bergling would perform several times a week, sometimes in two different cities on the same night. Shortly after the completion of his first world tour in , he started complaining about the pace of his schedule and agreed with Pournouri that no engagement requiring his presence would be confirmed without his written consent.

He was also ambitious, stubborn and unaware of how much his body could take. Then, in January , as a searing abdominal pain took hold, Bergling found himself in a New York hospital for eleven days — the onset of acute pancreatitis caused by alcohol abuse.

The Spiral Staircase

It was perhaps to be expected: Bergling made no secret of his excessive drinking. Touring and performing in front of thousands did not come naturally for a young, shy introvert who was happiest making music in the comfort of his own studio. And so alcohol became a dependable crutch upon which he could rely to quieten the growing anxieties that came with this lifestyle.

His debility required that he cut back on his drinking, but his relentless schedule continued. In alone he chalked up more than shows. He performed more than times in and around times in total, the bulk of which came between and These are frightening numbers — but this was his normality for more than five years, during which he travelled the globe, crossing continents and time zones, often without knowing for whom or where he was due to play. It was not sustainable. Bergling was hospitalised again in March , this time in Australia. Doctors advised him to undergo gallbladder removal surgery, but he opted to continue working in the studio.

His acute pancreatitis had required that he quit alcohol altogether, but he was becoming reliant on painkillers. That summer he toured Europe, once visiting nine different countries in ten days, and his anxieties flared up. But booking confirmations continued to flood in.

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Returning to Los Angeles in August, Bergling was trying to wean himself off the painkillers. A physical dependency had become mental, too, as he sought out ways to deal with the pressures of touring.

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He was performing again in less than two weeks — in a blur and anxious. This is not addictive. He was only Back on tour, Bergling found himself consumed by addiction.

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And yet he was allowed, even encouraged by some, to continue touring. He tried Suboxone, an opioid-dependence treatment, only to become dependent on that too. Desperate for help, he flew to Stockholm for a month with his family, but it was not enough. Yet nothing changed. Pournouri and his team continued to book gigs for Bergling. He began drinking again and embarked on Stories, a six-month world tour that saw him play 35 dates around the globe. In March , Bergling took to his website to announce his retirement from touring. It was a necessary step, but one that many felt needed to have come earlier.

By all accounts, the benefits of this decision were profound. He travelled the world and spent time making music. Photographs showed him looking lean and in good shape. He appeared to be well on the road to a full recovery. Bergling revealed that he was just settling into a new relationship, working on a new album and indicated that he would be open to playing a few shows. So why, just eight weeks later, did he take his own life?

He was a self-confessed introvert who did not feel comfortable in the club or festival environment, let alone performing. He was a young, impressionable boy when he was launched into a world that tests even the most thick-skinned of adults and had little time to adapt.

Tim had no time to recalibrate. He was surrounded by people whose judgement was polluted by their own financial gains. Managers, business managers, agents, attorneys: they are all focused on working you because that is how they make a living. On top of that, I had to pay for all my overheads, so my profit was a fraction of his profit. Pournouri was also young and learning; he discovered Bergling aged just 26 while balancing law school with club promotion.

He was under tremendous pressure, he says, to satisfy the live managers, fans, bookings agents and promoters, all of whom wanted their piece of the pie. Pournouri agreed to speak to GQ about his role. He denies culpability and claims that the documentary is wholly inaccurate. Pournouri says that it was created after he and Bergling parted ways and much of the footage contained within is from his own archives that he passed to Bergling, a client, as part of the transitioning. He says that he neither consented to involvement in the film nor to the use of the footage, which, he adds, was edited to show him in a bad light.

Bergling feared upsetting fans. I just didn't see the chemistry or get past the fact that it seemed Quinton was just being used for his baby-making abilities.

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