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Rain’s DJ AM found dead in Manhattan apartment

DJ Adam Goldstein was to perform tonight at the Palms

Image

Joe Fury/N9NE Group

DJ AM deejays at Rain in the Palms earlier this year.

Updated Friday, Aug. 28, 2009 | 7:45 p.m.

Barker/DJ AM rock LAX

Travis Barker and Adam 'DJ AM' Goldstein are back in Las Vegas for their first performance following the plane crash in which they were severely injured.

DJ AM at Rain

DJ AM opening night at Rain.

DJ AM (1973-2009)

DJ AM performs at Rain Nightclub at the Palms. Launch slideshow »

Rain nightclub at the Palms resident DJ Adam Goldstein, known as DJ AM, has died.

New York Police Detective John Sweeney confirmed to the Sun that officials discovered what is believed to be the 36-year-old DJ’s body after responding today to a call at 210 LaFayette Street at 5:23 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (2:23 p.m. Las Vegas time).

“EMS ruled that he was DOA at the scene,” Sweeney said.

There was no evidence of foul play, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press.

Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene, TMZ and the New York Post said.

N9NE Group, which owns Rain, released a statement late Friday saying it was "deeply saddened."

“He was not only our resident DJ at Rain Nightclub inside the Palms Casino Resort, he was also our brother in music. His impact was felt immediately and will have a lasting effect on all who had the chance to experience ‘AM Fridays.’ He is a gifted and talented artist who changed the international music scene and helped make Las Vegas one of the DJ capitals of the world," the statement read. "He will be dearly missed.”

Palms owner George Maloof released this statement following the news of Goldstein's death. “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of DJ AM. He was our resident DJ at Rain Nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort. We considered him a friend and a great artist. He will truly be missed.”

Goldstein’s last performance at Rain was one week ago, on Aug. 21. He performed a shortened set that night to make way for Black Eyed Peas collaborator Will.i.am, who took over the turntables at around 2 a.m.

Goldstein stayed on premises after his set and later enjoyed a laid back, early-morning breakfast with friends in the hotel’s 24/7 Café.

He was expected to reprise his Friday night resident spot this evening and return on Tuesday to play at a MAGIC kickoff party with Mixmaster Mike and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Goldstein was scheduled to perform last night at Sutra Lounge but did not make it to the Costa Mesa, Calif., nightspot. The no-show was uncharacteristic of the DJ; Goldstein wasn't known to miss gigs.

The Palms was solemn after news of Rain nightclub's Friday night resident DJ, DJ AM, had died.

The Palms was solemn after news of Rain nightclub's Friday night resident DJ, DJ AM, had died.

After no one had heard from the DJ for several days, a friend reportedly contacted police earlier today.

Friends and former co-workers said late Friday they were disappointed to hear the news.

Frequent Vegas DJ, DJ Scotty Boy, was in New York when the Sun contacted him late Friday afternoon.

“I’m staying right down the street,” Scotty Boy said, referring to Goldstein’s apartment. When the DJ, whose real name is Scott Schroer, heard that his friend had died, he went to the scene.

“I knew where he lived,” Schroer said, noting paramedics were still on the scene when he arrived.

He said he was “seriously speechless.”

“This is a real sad day for the music field,” said DJ Hollywood, who first met Goldstein in 1998.

“His influence on the DJ game was bigger than anybody can imagine,” Hollywood added. “He’s going to be greatly missed.”

Hollywood, whose real name is Leandro Valstaris, is the corporate program director for Pure Management Group, which operates Pure at Caesars Palace and LAX at Luxor. Prior to his move to Rain earlier this year, Goldstein was the resident DJ at Pure for three years.

Click to enlarge photo

Travis Barker and DJ AM at LAX in the Luxor on June 18, 2008.

His final performance at the Caesars Palace hotspot was April 3. Previous to his move to the Palms, Goldstein also performed frequently at LAX, where he was an investor.

Goldstein was also the resident DJ at Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel in 2004 and 2005.

“DJ AM was an innovator in the music business,” said Hard Rock Marketing Vice President Phil Shalala.

Shalala called Goldstein “A true talent who brought nightlife to a different level.”

“He will be missed,” he said

Meanwhile, Valstaris was anxiously waiting for more details after news broke of his friend and former colleague’s death.

“I haven’t been able to get a hold of anyone in New York,” he said late Friday. “You know as much as I know about what’s actually going on. Heaven just got way more talented.”

Montreal and Brooklyn-based DJ A-Trak, shared his thoughts via Twitter as reports of Goldstein’s death streamed in.

“I'm scared to say "RIP" before someone from his camp confirms,” he said. “Someone tell me this (expletive) isn't true.”

“@atrak I'm with you on this one,” Goldstein’s friend and fellow DJ, Samantha Ronson posted to her account. “Waiting for someone to say this isn't true.”

A-Trak, whose real name is Alain Macklovitch, later conceded that his friend was, in fact, dead.

“I'm really really really really really sad. I guess it's true,” he said. “RIP to my man DJ AM. An amazing DJ and one of the kindest people I've known.”

“AM opened the doors for a LOT of dudes,” he posted again, just four minutes later. “He was a survivor even before the crash. My birthday brother. He will be immensely missed.”

Click to enlarge photo

The wreckage of a Learjet that was carrying Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, Adam Goldstein, aka DJ AM, and four others rests on an embankment in September 2008 in South Carolina.

The crash Macklovitch referenced occurred on Sept. 19, 2008, when the Learjet he and six others were flying in crashed in South Carolina. Goldstein’s friend and frequent collaborator, Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, was also critically injured in the crash.

Four others, both pilots and two passengers, including Barker’s assistant, died in the crash.

An avid Twitter user, Goldstein had not posted anything to his page since Tuesday.

"New York, New York. Big city of dreams, but everything in New York aint (sic) always what it seems," he said at 2:57 p.m. that afternoon, quoting the Grandmaster Flash song, "New York New York."

He also posted a message earlier that day referencing filming his new rehab-related reality show, which was tentatively titled, “Gone Too Far.”

The MTV reality show featured Goldstein as the host of the intervention-based program where people faced their addictions. The DJ previously struggled with cocaine addiction and told MSNBC last year that he had been clean and sober for about a decade.

In a twist that is both tragic and ironic, multiple sources have reported that drug paraphernalia was found in Goldstein’s apartment when police discovered his body.

“TMZ and NY Post are (expletive) foul talking about ‘drug paraphernalia’ in their headlines,” A-Trak alleged. “Dude is/was a role model.”

Schroer also dismissed reports of illegal drugs.

“He was on prescription pills from the pain he was in because of the burns (he sustained in the plane crash),” he said. “I don’t think he committed suicide or overdosed on purpose.”

He and DJ R.O.B. were both at the Palms last week to see what turned out to be Goldstein’s last performance in Las Vegas.

Click to enlarge photo

DJ AM poses with DJ R.O.B., Black Eyed Peas' Taboo, center, and Will.i.am, right, early Saturday morning, Aug. 22, 2009, at Rain nightclub in the Palms in Las Vegas.

DJ R.O.B., Robert Hathcock, who usually opens for DJ AM at Rain on Fridays, first met Goldstein in early 2002 when the former was serving as music director at Rain nightclub. VH1 had booked a party at the club and brought in their own DJs, including Goldstein, who was still relatively unknown at the time.

"I see this chubby guy, and I’m like, 'What is this guy doing DJIng a celebrity event for VH1?' The next thing I know he’s doing unbelievable stuff."

That meeting sparked a friendship and collaboration between the two that lasted until AM's death. Hathcock became his opener when AM joined Rain nightclub as its Friday night resident on April 24. Hathcock described Goldstein as a "close friend."

"He was just like normal, fun, would make jokes. He loved the music. He would talk about music, and he would compliment all the DJs,” Hatchcock said. “It’s kind of weird. I don’t know where I’m at right now. It’s a huge loss for Vegas. ... Just working with him makes everybody better."

Goldstein’s last performance was Tuesday in Atlantic City, at Dusk nightclub inside Caesars resort.