September 5, 2009
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RPRN) 09/05/09 — Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan and Robert Downey Jr. among thousands who attend the Thursday evening memorial service for the late DJ
By Adam Shapiro -
On the same day that Michael Jackson was laid to rest in a lavish ceremony across town, thousands of family members, friends and fans of DJ AM gathered at the Hollywood Palladium Thursday evening to say their farewells, less than one week after the popular celebrity DJ suffered an untimely death at the age of 36.
Mourners included former fiancée Nicole Richie and friends Lindsay Lohan, Samantha Ronson, Eric Dane, Rebecca Gayheart and Robert Downey Jr..
Born Adam Michael Goldstein, DJ AM began deejaying at the age of 20 after being influenced a decade earlier by Herbie Hancock’s performance of “Rockit” at the 1983 Grammy Awards. His career would span almost two decades and include a membership in the rock band Crazy Town, best known for their #1 hit “Butterfly”, as well as collaborations with some of the biggest heavyweights in the music industry, including Madonna and Jay-Z.
Despite his many achievements, dark clouds would often encircle the life of DJ AM. As a young man, Goldstein battled addictions to crack cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, he re-dedicated his life to the art form of deejaying and managed to remain sober for more than 11 years. In September 2008, difficult times would re-surface as DJ AM and frequent collaborator and friend Travis Barker were involved in a tragic plane crash that killed four passengers and left both musicians seriously injured. Persevering once again, DJ AM would recover quickly from severe burns to his hands and head. “I have a great deal of faith that everything happens for a reason. I put myself in God’s hands,” Goldstein told People magazine in October 2008.
Despite his positive outlook following his near death experience, DJ AM began to relapse and was prescribed medication for pain and post-traumatic stress. Sources indicate that his death has been attributed to an OxyContin overdose. according to E! News. As such, the memorial service was patterned after a 12-step substance abuse recovery meeting, with attendees free to speak in anonymity. Among those who spoke was DJ AM’s girlfriend Hayley Wood. “He was my soul mate and now he is my soul,” said Wood. “He is my amazing grace.” The sentiment offered by Wood reflected the atmosphere of those gathered. As one eyewitness described, “It was packed. You could tell how well loved he was,” the witness said. “It was a very somber and sad crowd.”
The site of the memorial reflected the cyclical nature of life, as the Hollywood Palladium was the first venue DJ AM performed at after recovering from his near fatal crash. This was a fitting location for loved ones to stage their own curtain call as a tribute to Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein.
Jeffrey Jolson is Hollywood Today founding editor-in-chief and a RushPRnews partner and contributor since 2006. Jeffrey, of the Al Jolson family, also founded HollywoodReporter.com and Grammy.com. Hollywood Today reporters have written for Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Forbes, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, AP, E!, Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.
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