Google’s newest homepage Doodle is a tribute to iconic Swedish DJ Avicii (Tim Bergling), who would have turned 32 years old tomorrow. The Doodle is also an effort to raise awareness of Suicide Prevention Week, which this year takes place between September 5 and September 11. Bergling died by suicide at the age of 28.
“Whether blaring from speakers of a music festival mainstage or into the headphones of millions of listeners worldwide, Avicii helped elevate electronic music to mainstream global success,” Google writes of the Doodle.
The Google Doodle, which was illustrated by Alyssa Winans, features hazy, colorful sketches of Bergling and friends producing music behind computers, DJing live, and traveling the world. The minute-and-a-half animation is set to “Wake Me Up,” Avicii’s 2013 hit featuring vocals from Aloe Blacc — one of the highest-charting dance tracks of the decade.
Bergling's mental health legacy — Tim Bergling reportedly struggled with his mental health for years leading up to his death. The following year, his family started the Tim Bergling Foundation to combat mental health stigma and raise awareness of larger mental health issues in younger people. One of the foundation’s top goals is lowering the suicide rate among the young.
Tim’s father, Kris Bergling, shared some thoughts on the Doodle and his son’s legacy.
“The Doodle is fantastic, my family and I feel honored and Tim would have been very proud and love it,” Kris said. “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.”
Doodle for change — Google’s Doodles have been around for more than two decades now. In that time they’ve honored everything from Burning Man to federal U.S. holidays to famous figures’ birthdays. Though often leaning into trivial celebrations, Doodles are also conversation starters, highlighting important topics for Google’s billions of daily users.
Suicide prevention week focuses on raising awareness about mental health struggles and generally opening up conversations around individual mental health issues. It’s all about making it easier to talk about these things — and Google Doodle is all about getting people to consider pertinent topics.
Doodler Winans says she hopes people around the world “are inspired to learn more about and discuss mental health openly, especially as we collectively live through such a challenging time in global history where so many may be struggling in unseen ways.”