The award show is known for not taking itself too seriously, but it did slow things down for a moment to address Avicii's passing. The 28-year-old died in April, not long after he collaborated with Rita Ora on a song called "Lonely Together." The song took home the award for best dance, and Ora asked the crowd to commemorate Avicii while she was on stage.
“I wanna take a minute to say I just found out that Avicii and I won best dance, so let’s make some noise for Avicii right now, an amazing talent,” she said. Ora was introducing Colombian singer Maluma, but she found a moment to make sure Avicii got his recognition.
Ora has led the charge to keep Avicii's memory alive. Back in May, she used her time on stage to pay tribute to him at the BBC's Biggest Weekend festival in Swansea. His stage name stood in massive letters behind her on a video screen as she sang "Lonely Together," and she thanked the crowd for helping her get through it.
"Thank you for singing that with me," she reportedly said to the audience. "It's always hard for me to sing that, so thank you so much for singing along."
Ora described Avicii -- whose real name was Tim Bergling -- as "a really good friend" who "changed my life."
Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman on April 20. He had already been retired from performing live for about two years, as the stress of touring had driven his health to the breaking point. The DJ suffered from acute pacreatitis due to excessive alcohol use, and he was forced to have his appendix and his gallbladder removed.
At the time of his passing, local police quickly ruled it a suicide. TMZ reported that he had been found with severe self-inflicted injuries apparently done with a broken wine bottle. He was transported home to Stockholm, where his family held a private funeral for him.
“Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions," they said in an open letter to the public. They felt that he “was not made for the business machine he found himself in," and “he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight."
According to his family, Avicii "really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace."
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).