Avicii may have passed away last month, but his influence on EDM and electronic music looms large. At this year’s Billboard Music Awards, The Chainsmokers and Halsey made sure the Swedish DJ got the respect and reverence they felt he deserved. Both the New York City-based Chainsmokers and singer Halsey showed that Avicii has been a significant influence on their careers.
The US-based producers, Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart, began working together to create electronic music under the Chainsmoker moniker in 2012. The duo scored their first hit “Roses” in 2015 before worked with Halsey on their 2016 hit “Closer,” their first number 1 hit, among other works. The group has listed their musical influences as Pharrell Williams, deadmau5 Blink-182, Taking Back Sunday, Taylor Swift, Max Martin, The xx, and Explosions in the Sky in addition to illustrious Swedish DJ. While Halsey’s career, which she says was inspired by diverse range of acts including Slick Rick, Kayne West, and most significantly Taking Back Sunday, took off in 2014 with her debut album “Room 93” and subsequent The Kooks and Imagine Dragons tour.
Before presenting the Top Hot 100 Song of 2018 award to Luis Fonsi for his summer hit “Despacito,” both The Chainsmokers gave a shout out to the deceased DJ saying, “Avicii was an artist who inspired so many in so many ways and meant so much to us and the EDM community.” Halsey echoed this and added, “Everyone who worked with him would say that he was such a joy and that makes this tragedy all the more painful. It’s a reminder to all of us to be there and support and love our friends and family members who may be struggling with mental illness.” Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling was known to have struggled with alcohol and drug issues. His death was eventually revealed to have been a suicide by his family. His tragic life, however, gave way to a unique music style that some credit with single-handedly bringing EDM into the mainstream.