Avicii’s posthumous legacy continues to reach new milestones five years after his untimely passing as “Wake Me Up” achieves 2 billion streams on Spotify.
Five years have passed since EDM superstar Avicii tragically died at 28 of an apparent suicide. His music lives on, however. The late DJ and producer’s 2013 crossover hit “Wake Me Up” has become the first track by a Swedish artist to surpass 2 billion Spotify streams.
“Some big news today,” wrote Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on X, the app formerly known as Twitter. “‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii is the first song by a Swedish artist to break 2B streams on Spotify. It’s so amazing to see Avicii’s influence and remarkable work continuing to bring joy to so many around the world.“
Avicii (real name Tim Bergling) rose to fame at the onset of the EDM boom on the back of mainstage-ready singles like “Seek (Bromance)” and “Levels.” “Wake Me Up” marked a departure for the world-famous talent — a risk that most certainly paid off. The song’s folky instrumentals and Aloe Blacc’s twangy verses extended Bergling’s influence to markets relatively untouched by electronic music acts.
Bergling grappled with severe anxiety, and in 2016 he announced an indefinite hiatus from touring. After an extended period of self-care, 2018 would have marked a triumphant return for the iconic artist that would have been punctuated by the release of his third studio-length album, Tim. That plan would not come to light as he was found dead in Muscat, Oman, on April 10. In the months following Tim Bergling’s sad and shocking passing, his surviving family members worked with his final collaborators to release the album. Tim arrived in full on June 6 of the following year.
It is no exaggeration to say that Avicii’s impact continued to grow substantially after his death. The same year Tim was released, his family launched the Tim Bergling Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about suicide and mental health issues across the globe.
Artists like Nile Rodgers of Chic, Mike Enzinger of Incubus, and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons cited Avicii as one of their favorite collaborators. Even classic rock superstar Eric Clapton claimed to have been inspired by the young producer.
Later in his tweet, Ek credited Berglin’s manager Ash Pournouri for identifying his talent early on. “Kudos to Ash for believing before anyone else,” he wrote.
EDM Identity urges anyone dealing with thoughts of self-harm to learn what resources are available by visiting the International Association for Suicide Prevention website.