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Reports: DJ AM found dead in New York

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DJ AM spins a set at Rain.
Photo: Joe Fury/N9NE Group

Rain resident DJ Adam Goldstein, known as DJ AM, has died, according to multiple media reports. New York Police Det. John Sweeney confirmed to the Weekly that officials discovered what is believed to be the 36-year-old deejay’s body after responding today to a call at 210 LaFayette St. at 5:23 p.m. EST.

Rain nightclub tribute to Dj AM - from YouTube.com

DJ AM (1973-2009)

DJ AM at Rain

“EMS ruled that he was DOA at the scene,” Sweeney said, adding, “The body has not been identified yet.”

Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene, TMZ said.

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

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.”

N9NE Group, which owns Rain, released a statement today 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.”

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

Tonight, Rain will host a special tribute to Goldstein.

DJ Scotty Boy, a frequent Vegas DJ, was in New York when the Weekly 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.

Schroer said police confirmed that the body found inside the apartment was that of a 36-year-old white male. Police have not identified the body, as family has yet to be notified, he said.

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.

DJ AM launch of his Friday residency at Rain Nightclub - from YouTube.com

“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 the Luxor. Before his move to Rain this year, Goldstein was the resident DJ at Pure for three years.

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

DJ AM performs at Rain in the Palms.

DJ AM performs at Rain in the Palms.

Goldstein also was the resident DJ at Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel from 2004 until 2005.

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 ahold 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.”

Travis Barker and DJ AM at LAX.

Travis Barker and DJ AM at LAX.

The crash Macklovitch referenced occurred on last Sept. 19 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, also was 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. The tweet quotes a song by Grandmaster Flash titled "New York New York."

Barker/DJ AM rock LAX

He also posted a message 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. Goldstein 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. WTFFFFFFFFFFFF.”

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.”

His last performance was Tuesday in Atlantic City at Dusk nightclub inside Caesars resort.

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. VH1 had booked a party at the club and brought in their own DJs, including Goldstein, who was still relatively unknown at the time.

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

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

"I see this chubby guy, and I’m like, 'What is this guy doing deejaying 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 today.

"We’ve kept in touch. We actually got Serato at the same time and actually shared music libraries." When AM joined Rain as its Friday night resident on April 24 of this year, Hathcock became his opener. Hathcock describes 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 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 around 2 a.m. Goldstein stayed on premises after his set and later enjoyed an early morning breakfast with friends in the hotel’s 24/7 Café.

Goldstein was scheduled to perform Thursday 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. After no one had heard from the DJ for several days, a friend reportedly contacted police today.

When authorities went to Goldstein’s Manhattan apartment just before 5:30 p.m. EST today, they found what is believed to be the famed DJ’s body.

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