Each musical generation has its icons, but as rock hero Elton John sings, some candles burn out long before the legends of their life.
Tim Bergling, better known to fans as Avicii, is a standout figure in the electronic dance music scene. His songs “Levels,” “Wake Me Up,” “Seek Bromance,” “Silhouettes” and more helped shape the sound of dance throughout the 2010s and into today. His music leaves a lasting legacy, but he sadly chose to leave this world in April of 2018.
Even before his death, Avicii walked away from life on the road and canceled all future tours. You can’t see Avicii drop any of his classic anthems in clubs, and you may not be able to shake his hand and thank him for all the life-affirming melodies, but if you travel to the Madame Tussauds wax figure museum in New York City, you can take your picture with the most lifelike statue of Avicii in existence.
“We are always looking to create those celebrities who have made a significant impact on their field, and I think that it’s easy to see that Avicii is one of the most iconic musicians of our generation,” says Tom Middleton, general manager of Madame Tussauds NY. “For us, it was the perfect opportunity in conjunction with his family to really celebrate his life and his career and allow guests to relive some of this icon’s most notable performances.”
When creating a wax figure, a team of 20 people in the U.K. typically take about 200 measurements of the subject, but of course, this had to be handled differently. Designers instead studied hours and hours of footage, catching Avicii at as many angles as they could to create the proper dimensions and to really capture the vibrant energy with which the DJ and producer delivered his most memorable performances.
Most significant was the input from his parents, Klas Bergling and Anki Lidén, who have always stressed the importance of honoring their son’s memory in the most authentic, accurate and respectable manner.
“It was honestly a real pleasure working with them,” Middleton says. “They were fantastic. They were really involved and engaged every step of the way, from the initial conversations of ‘Yes, we would love to be able to do this to celebrate his life,’ all the way through to when the first clay sculpts were done, the first paint job and to the final product.”
After months of hard work, the Avicii figure is ready for its New York debut. Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 8, fans will walk into Madame Tussauds’ music room and see Bergling’s famous smile beaming as bright as the faux stage lights. He’s situated behind a DJ booth, one hand in the air, the other resting on the mixer, as he was so often seen. It’s the full concert experience, except now, you can climb into the booth with him and snap some selfies.
“It will include clips and sound from some of his most iconic shows, whether that’s him playing in front of thousands of people at Tomorrowland, or him playing at smaller venues,” Middleton says. “[We want to] allow our guests to sort of relive that, bring it to life with lights and sounds and get an experience that you’re just not able to get anymore.”
It’s been a touching experience, one that brought Middleton even closer to the DJ, of whom he was always a fan.
“I didn’t realize was how much work he did with charity,” the general manager says. “He co-founded House for Hunger. He raised awareness about world hunger and donated lots of money to Feeding America as well. That was one bit I wasn’t necessarily aware of as a fan, something that even more so put him on such a pedestal for me.”
The exhibit at Madame Tussauds in New York City is meant to bring everyone closer to the man’s life while shining a light on his incredibly human legacy. The Avicii figure will be alongside figures of Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran and more. Learn more by visiting Madame Tussauds online, and check out the official announcement video below.