Avicii tribute concert, David Guetta Talks Avicii Death.

About eight months before the death of EDM superstar Avicii, his friend and French DJ colleague David Guetta received an urgent message from Avicii’s then-manager. “It was a little bit of a crisis, to be honest,” Guetta says. “His manager called me and said, ‘I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s a bit out of control.’ I offered anything I could do or we could meet and talk. I texted [Avicii], but it was difficult to communicate at that time.”

The following year, in April 2018, Avicii died by suicide while on vacation in Oman. Guetta wasn’t in touch with him at that time, but on Thursday night, he’ll pay tribute to his friend on a public stage as part of an all-star Avicii tribute concert at the Friends Arena in Stockholm. The two-hour show, with ticket sales going toward mental-health and suicide-prevention organizations, will feature DJs and singers who worked with Avicii, including Adam Lambert, Rita Ora, Aloe Blacc, Kygo, Laidback Luke, Gavin DeGraw, and Nicky Romero; Avicii’s father Klaus Bergling will also address the crowd to pay tribute to his son. The concert, which starts at 9 p.m. Swedish time, will be live-streamed on Avicii’s YouTube channel as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

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Guetta, 21 years Avicii’s senior, was immediately impressed with the DJ-producer’s work when he heard a piano-fueled remix by the new, young Swede. Guetta reached out soon after and asked Avicii to remix one of his own cuts. One of Guetta’s subsequent tracks, 2011’s euphoric “Sunshine,” was so inspired by Avicii that Guetta invited his younger colleague to full-on collaborate on it; the two also worked on an even bigger club hit, “Lovers on the Sun,” complete with a video starring Ray Liotta.

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But Guetta says the moment he knew Avicii was destined for an even bigger world stage came when the two were hanging in Ibiza and Avicii played him “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother,” both destined for Avicii’s breakthrough album, True. “That was like, ‘Wow, okay, that’s it – you’re taking over the world,’” Guetta says. “Music is very often a surprise. You don’t really know what’s going to connect with the people. But when I heard this, I was like, ‘Okay, there’s absolutely no doubt – you’re the next one.’” (In a 2012 interview, Avicii dismissed the “new David Guetta” tag attached to him: “It’s not annoying, but I definitely don’t consider myself the new anything … It’s still a compliment that people think we’re alike.”)

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