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Avicii's family sell music rights to Abba star's company

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The family of dance musician Avicii have sold 75% of the rights to his master recordings and publishing to the Swedish entertainment company Pophouse.

The deal will allow Avicii's parents to concentrate on the foundation they established after his death in 2018.

They retain the remaining 25% of his rights, "to ensure a dignified tone" in how his music is used and promoted.

Pophouse was established by Abba star Björn Ulvaeus in 2014, and runs the Abba Voyage show in London.

In a press release announcing the Avicii deal, the company revealed sales figures for the groundbreaking virtual concert for the first time - with 650,000 tickets sold, and more than 160 sold out performances.

Avicii was born Tim Bergling in 1989, and rose to prominence after posting tracks he'd made in his Stockholm bedroom to dance music websites.

He set himself apart from his peers by writing songs with emotional pop hooks - and scored a major international hit with Wake Me Up, which blended folky, bluegrass melodies with club-ready beats.

Bergling went on to produce music for Madonna and Coldplay and became one of the world's highest-paid DJs, but he suffered from alcoholism and depression and eventually took his own life at the age of 28.

Since then, his parents Klas Bergling and Anki Lidén have overseen his estate, arranging a star-studded tribute concert, licensing a video game based on his music, and opening an interactive tribute museum in Stockholm earlier this year (the latter was also a joint project with Pophouse).

In a statement, Bergling explained that selling a majority stake in his son's music rights would help to secure his legacy.

"My wife and I feel that as we are getting older, we do not have the right energy level or required skills to fully keep ahead of the new streaming and digital developments vital for such a big, international artist as Tim," he wrote.

"Through this deal, we are also securing the Tim Bergling Foundation's long-term finances, creating opportunity to act decisively on the foundation's commitments to supporting such important issues as mental health and well-being of young people."

He explained that the deal would bring Avicii's music "to the widest possible audience" and "take care" of his international fanbase.

"Since Tim took his life, as a family, we have not had sufficient time for his fans that they so deserve, and have lacked the ability to follow up on their correspondence and other contact with us," Bergling wrote.

"We leave neither Tim nor his contribution to the world. He is always within us and so is his music."

The Avicii deal comes six months after Pophouse acquired the master recordings and publishing assets of dance icons Swedish House Mafia. No figure has been disclosed for the acquisition.

The last five years have seen a flurry of similar deals, with artists like Bob Dylan, Shakira, Blondie and Neil Young selling the rights to their catalogues to companies who promise to safeguard their legacy, while profiting from the royalties.