DJ AM, the sought-after disc jockey who survived a plane crash in Columbia just months ago, was found dead Friday at his apartment. He had a history of drug problems.
Police found a crack pipe and prescription pills in the Manhattan apartment, according to a law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. Paramedics had to break down the door to the apartment before they found him in his bed about 5:20 p.m., the official said.
A friend called police to say he was unable to get into the home in the trendy SoHo neighborhood. There was no evidence of foul play, and a medical examiner will determine the DJ's cause of death.
DJ AM, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, had talked openly about past addictions to crack cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs, but the 36-year-old said he had been drug-free for years, even swearing off cigarettes.
In October, MTV was to debut his new reality show, “Gone Too Far,” in which he and concerned families staged interventions for drug abusers. In a recent 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.
Last year, he was badly hurt when a Learjet crashed on takeoff in Columbia. Four people were killed, and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker was seriously injured. 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.
Goldstein was a deejay for hire who performed at Hollywood's most exclusive parties and was admired by music aficionados. He also was famous for past relationships with the reality TV star Nicole Richie, the daughter of singer Lionel Richie, and with actress-singer Mandy Moore.
He rose to fame several years ago as highly sought-after DJ whose beats kept the dance floor packed and clubgoers hypnotized. He was known for his deft mashups, a blend of at least two songs.