DJ AM, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, the celebrity disc jockey who publicly acknowledged his history of drug addiction and had filmed a reality show in which he offered to help other addicts, was found dead in his Manhattan SoHo apartment yesterday. He was 36.
Police found a crack pipe and prescription pills in his apartment. Paramedics had to break down the door before they found him, shirtless and wearing sweatpants, in his bed around 5:20 p.m. on Friday.
There was no evidence of foul play, although a medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
DJ AM, whose had openly discussed past addictions to crack cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs, addictions so bad he once tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head — but the gun jammed. However, he claimed he had been drug-free for years, even swearing off cigarettes.
In October, MTV was to debut his reality show, “Gone Too Far,” in which he and concerned families staged interventions for drug abusers. In a recent AP interview, he talked about holding a crack pipe for the first time in years for the show and said he felt as though he had an angel on his shoulder for surviving so much turmoil.
“There’s no better way to remember what it was like when I was at my bottom than to see someone at their bottom,” he told the Associated Press.
MTV did not have an immediate comment on whether Goldstein’s show would air, but said in a statement that it “was honored to support him as he helped young people battle their own addictions.”
Goldstein rose to fame several years ago as a highly sought-after deejay for hire who regularly performed at Las Vegas’ and Hollywood’s most exclusive nightclubs and parties and was admired by music aficionados for his deft mashups of rock and roll with hip-hop, who always kept the dance floor packed and clubgoers hypnotized.
Goldstein was also part owner of the LAX nightclub at the Luxor in Las Vegas.
This Friday he was scheduled to perform at the Rain nightclub in the Palms Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas.
He was famous for his relationships with reality TV star Nicole Richie, the daughter of singer Lionel Richie, actress-singer Mandy Moore, and friend Criss Angel.
As previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access, Goldstein was critically injured last September when a Learjet crashed on takeoff in Columbia, S.C. The plane was transporting among others Goldstein and Travis Barker, a drummer for the pop punk band Blink-182, after a performance; the pair had formed the duo TRVSDJ-AM.
Barker and Goldstein were burned, though Barker was injured more severely. Goldstein had to get skin graft surgery, but about a month later he was performing again, joining Jay-Z on stage.
“I can’t believe I made it,” Goldstein said. “I’ve prayed every night for the past 10 years. There’s a lot more to thank God for now. … I was saved for a reason. Maybe I’m going to help someone else. I don’t question it. All I know is I’m thankful to be here.”
He is also one of the playable characters in Activision’s “DJ Hero,” a rhythm video game from the makers of “Guitar Hero” that uses a turntable-shaped controller. The game is set for release Oct. 27.
Celebrities, friends and fans instantly shared their reactions on Twitter, where “RIP DJ AM” was the No. 1 topic on Friday.
Singer John Mayer wrote: “We’re supposed to lose our friends to time, at an age when we’re ready to agree to the terms of having lived a long life. Not now.”
Media and onlookers flocked to his apartment, creating a frenzied scene; flowers had been placed outside the entrance.