Back in 2018, the Swedish DJ-turned-EDM superstar Avicii tragically died by suicide. He was just 28 years old, and his unexpected death shook not just the electronic scene, but the music industry as a whole. Now, in honor of this year’s National Suicide Prevention Week, the late Avicii is the subject of a new Google Doodle to help raise awareness. Check out the animation below.
Born Tim Bergling, the late Avicii would be celebrating his 32nd birthday this Wednesday if he were still alive. To mark the occasion and spread the word about NSPW, The Google Doodle image was created by artists Alyssa Winans, Olivia When, and Sophie Diao.
“The truth is Tim struggled a great deal during the touring part of his adulthood, and I wanted to find a way to both touch on the realities of that experience, while still celebrating and honoring his life in a way that fit the lyrics and tone of the track,” Winans shared. “I ultimately decided to spend the majority of the video on the aspects of his life he loved, with a few symbolic moments to allude to some of the more emotionally challenging experiences.”
As such, the Google Doodle graphic overlays colorful sketches of a young boy strumming a guitar as a child, making beats on his laptop as a preteen, and DJing a small gathering as a teenager. From there, a pair of hands outline the shape of a heart and a sketch of Bergling can be seen getting lost in the music while traveling the world and performing live for thousands of people. The minute-long clip is soundtracked by his mega hit “Wake Me Up” from his 2013 album True.
Upon seeing the Google Doodle, Avicii’s father, Klas Bergling, thanked the creative team behind the project for their work and shared an old memory of his son. “I will never forget when Tim played in a park called Strömparterren in Stockholm in the early days of his career,” he said. “He’d told me explicitly to not come — maybe because it wasn’t very cool to have your father around at that age — but I went anyway and hid behind a tree. It was a great evening and I remember feeling surprised, amazed and very proud. When I came to find him backstage afterwards, he was so glad I came.”
“The Doodle is fantastic, my family and I feel honored and Tim would have been very proud and love it,” he continued. “It is a friendly and warm story of a young man fulfilling his dream to be a DJ and at the same time telling us that our journey in life is not always easy despite fame and fortune.”
Shortly after he passed away, Bergling’s family launched a mental health and suicide prevention foundation called The Tim Bergling Foundation to “honor his memory and continue to act in his spirit” by uplifting others when they need help most. In 2019, they also officially released TIM, the posthumous Avicii album and follow-up to his 2015 full-length Stories. Bergling had completed several of the 12 tracks on TIM including “Heaven,” which Bergling and Coldplay’s Chris Martin originally wrote and recorded in 2014. The album also featured the singles “Tough Love” and “SOS.”
Shortly after he passed away, Bergling’s family launched a mental health and suicide prevention foundation called The Tim Bergling Foundation to “honor his memory and continue to act in his spirit” by uplifting others when they need help most.