Gabrielle: 'Avicii wasn't strong enough to stand up to the people around him'
(Picture: Handout)

Its 25 years since Gabrielle released her huge hit Dreams, so shes seen a thing or two within the music industry.

While mostly its been highs for the singer, who is making her comeback with her first studio in 11 years, there are definite lows as there is a brutal edge to the industry, one which has recently seen the loss of the life of DJ Avicii.

The 28-year-old died in an apparent suicide with his family revealing in a statement that he could not go on, after suffering health complications partly due to his party lifestyle. Hed previously said hed asked to quit touring, but had been told he couldnt, and revealed he would be handed drinks to keep him performing.

FILE Swedish Producer and DJ Avicii Dies Suddenly Aged 28 IRVINE, CA - MAY 31: Tim Bergling aka Avicii attends the 22nd Annual KROQ Weenie Roast on May 31, 2014 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.)
Avicii died by apparent suicide at the age of 28(Picture: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.)

Having had a quarter of a century in the industry Gabrielle has seen it all, including being pressured herself into taking drugs. But in a frank chat with she revealed she believes it is down to the individual and their strength of character to survive the business, adding that Avicii did not have good people around him.


I knew there were times it could be brutal, but if you were riding the wave its a case of everyone wants you to ride it and no one wants you to get off, she said of the tragic news that Avicii may have taken his own life after succumbing to the pressures placed on him as a DJ.

There was a video of him saying it would kill him, and they told him you cant cancel your shows. Well you can. Its a shame, he was powerful enough but didnt realise or he didnt want to let down fans.

She added: You need your health so you can function, but he wasnt well and people knew that. He clearly wasnt in the right frame of mind.

Gabrielle: 'Avicii wasn't strong enough to stand up to the people around him'
(Picture: Handout)

He came forward and said he was tired and this and that and yet those people around him were still trying to put him to work. He buckled under the pressure.

She added that becoming a mother early on in her career – she released her first record in 1993 and had her son in 1995 – she was quickly forced to become feisty and protective, and stand up to those trying to control her life.

In my case I knew what the pressures were but I was feisty enough, I had my kids, she said. There were times in the early days I was asked to sing and I had a sore throat and felt sick. You wouldnt ask a runner to run on a bad leg. I understand the pressures but I think its down to the individual. Some arent as strong as others.

Speaking of her own experience, Gabrielle revealed people have previously attempted to pressure her into taking drugs, but shes always taken a strong stance on the matter.

When I first started out I remember someone offering me drugs and I have no filter so I soon put that person in their place, she said. Another time I was once at a party celebrating an artist and there was another very famous artist there, who was in the toilet. I could hear this male voice and immediately I knew it wasnt sexual, they were doing drugs.


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And I stormed out of the toilets and this person came up to me and said oh gabrielle trying to be nice, but I was very anti drugs.

The singer, now 48, said its all about frame of mind, and that the industry will chew up and spit out those who arent strong.

Ive had it offered and Ive really kicked off about it. But then people learned I was just not that kind of person. You cant sway me or change me. In the industry its about people who arent as strong. A lot of people havent been as fortunate as being as strong minded as me, she said.

More: Music

With 25 years in the biz she definitely knows a thing or two, and is now returning to her roots with new album Under My Skin.

She said its a return to classic Gabrielle, and that it happened by accident.

That wasnt premeditated, its been a work in progress, she said. On and off for a few years I have been writing material. It hasnt had such a cohesive sound as it does now.

It wasnt deliberate, it was organic. And I felt comfortable. Ive tried all the other stuff, Ive gone around the houses, but now I can be me..

She added: Im glad Ive always been able to do what I like, Ive tried indie too, and country. Its amazing I didnt have a restriction, but now Im ready to go back to roots.

Under My Skin drops on 17th August, Show Me is out now.

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