Adam Michael Goldstein (March 30, 1973 – August 28, 2009) was a Jewish American club DJ and musician better known as DJ AM. Goldstein was a member of the rock band Crazy Town, and worked on albums for Papa Roach, Madonna, and Will Smith, among others. He was a frequent collaborator with Travis Barker of Blink-182 and appeared on several television series.

On August 28, 2009, Goldstein died of an accidental drug overdose.[1]

Early and personal life

Goldstein was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a Jewish family.[2][3][4] As a child, his father verbally abused him, which Goldstein called "unbelievably cruel." His father abused drugs and was secretly a homosexual. His father was sent to jail for committing bank fraud and later died due to complications from AIDS.[5] Goldstein attended the elite Quaker school Friends' Central.[6] Goldstein began taking drugs, so his mother placed him in a treatment center that specialized in “tough love”.

When Goldstein was 20 years old, he started deejaying, which he'd been obsessed with since seeing Herbie Hancock do the song “Rockit” at the Grammy Awards. During his early 20s, Goldstein also battled a drug addiction, specifically to crack cocaine. At one point, he attempted suicide but was unsuccessful when the gun did not go off.[7] Shortly thereafter, he became sober, began attending AA meetings and dedicated himself to working as a DJ.[8] Goldstein also distanced himself from friends who were still using drugs, which aided in his recovery. "By then, I was booking jobs at every major club and had started to gain a following," he told Glamour magazine.[9] He lost more than 60 pounds and began Deejaying for celebrity parties and night clubs[10] After getting clean, DJ AM was sober for more than eleven years and was held up as a positive example for the recovery process.[11][12]

He began dating socialite Nicole Richie in 2003 and announced their engagement in February 2005.[13] However, the couple broke up in late 2006.[14] "The one thing that stands out about Adam is that I can be myself," Richie said after the breakup.[15] After his breakup with Richie, Goldstein dated singer-actress Mandy Moore.[16]


Goldstein was a member of the rap/rock group Crazy Town. He has also scratched on albums for Papa Roach, Madonna, Will Smith, and Shifty and played concerts with Jay-Z. He has played private events for celebrities like Jim Carrey, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Ben Stiller, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christina Aguilera, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, and Kate Hudson.[17] He had a one-year contract with Las Vegas' Pure Nightclub inside Caesar's Palace to play at the venue every Friday and opened a nightclub at Caesars Atlantic City called Dusk.[18]

He had recently collaborated with Travis Barker of Blink-182 and +44 in several performances, including the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. On December 1, 2008, TV Guide reported that DJ AM would make his first appearance with Travis Barker since the two survived the plane crash. The duo performed at New Year's Nation's Los Angeles 2008 New Year's Eve Party at The Wiltern. Their performance was streamed live on the Internet via New Year's Nation's official site, and was broadcast at other New Year's Nation parties across the U.S.[19][20] Before the gig Barker told press, "I'm ready to get back onstage with AM and continue to rock the house. I'm very excited to bring in the New Year in my hometown of L.A."[21]

His reality television appearances include Punk'd, where his former fiancée, Nicole Richie, was the subject of a practical joke, and the third season of The Simple Life. Goldstein appears as himself in the "What About Bob?" episode of Entourage's third season; he gets the last pair of an exclusive line of shoes, right before Vince (Adrian Grenier) and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) arrive. He had recently finished filming a reality show for MTV, called Gone Too Far, in which he and concerned families staged interventions for drug abusers.[22] Eight episodes of Gone Too Far had been shot before his body was discovered on August 28.[23] The show's original premiere date was October 5, 2009. Before he died, Goldstein reportedly told his addiction-program sponsor that he would return to rehab.[24] MTV has decided to air his show after much controversy. "It is our hope through airing this show that people will get to see the side of Adam that we knew and loved. The decision to air the show has been difficult, but we do this with the profound belief that it will inspire others to seek help," his family said in a statement posted on[25] Trailer was released in early October and the show premiered on October 12, 2009.[26]

He was also a co-owner of the popular club LAX. In 2009, DJ AM became Rain Nightclub's regular Friday night DJ at the Palms Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.[27] He had a record deal with Interscope, and had partnered with Travis Barker (Blink 182) to perform a live DJing/drumming set. TRVSDJAM performed about once a month at sponsored events, clubs and concerts. Their act involved mixing live drum beats to scratched records, as they performed side by side.[28]

DJ AM had evolved into a prominent brand.He co-owned a management company called Deckstar with Steve Aoki along with their managers and Paul Rosenberg. He was the music director for the website T-Mobile/sidekick also created a limited edition sidekick featuring him and the artwork of tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon.

Plane crash

On September 19, 2008, after having performed at a college event with frequent collaborator Travis Barker, Goldstein was seriously injured when a Learjet in which he was traveling crashed on takeoff in West Columbia, South Carolina. The crash killed both crew members and two other passengers, and critically injured Goldstein and Barker.[29] They were both transported to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia, and were both listed in critical condition.[30] According to reports, Goldstein suffered burns on his hands and parts of his head. His ex-girlfriend, singer Mandy Moore, with whom he was still close, flew to be by his side at the Georgia hospital where he was staying.[31][32] Goldstein was released from the hospital on September 26, 2008, a spokeswoman told AP.[33]

In December 2008, Goldstein filed a civil lawsuit against the plane's charter company, Learjet and Goodyear tires; the suit claims negligence on the part of the pilots and a manufacturing defect on the part of the plane. Goldstein was asking for damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement and loss of earnings.[34] Goldstein was the last passenger to file a civil suit; the estates of deceased passengers Chris Baker and Charles Still had already filed suits, as had crash survivor Travis Barker.[35][36]

"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.[37]


Goldstein was found dead at his New York City apartment at 5:22 p.m. EST on Friday, August 28, 2009, after friends, unable to reach Goldstein for a few days became concerned and called police.[38][39] Drug paraphernalia, including a crack pipe and a bag of crack cocaine, were found in the apartment, but no signs of foul play.[40][41] Reports indicate that Goldstein was found with nine OxyContin pills in his body.[42]

Goldstein had been prescribed medication for pain and post traumatic stress after surviving the Learjet crash with friend and fellow musician Travis Barker in September 2008.[12][43]

After a memorial service, Goldstein was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery in Culver City, California on September 2, 2009.[44] A day after he was laid to rest, he was remembered by hundreds of invited guests and a handful of fans who attended the memorial at the Hollywood Palladium.[45]

On September 29, 2009, the New York medical examiner determined that Goldstein's death was an accident caused by an "acute intoxication" from a combination of cocaine and prescription drugs. He died from a combination of cocaine, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, Benadryl and Levamisole (a drug used to cut cocaine).[46]



  • Samantha Ronson & DJ AM - Challah (2003)
  • With Crazy Town:
    • Crazy Town - The Gift of Game (1999)


  • TRV$DJAM - Fix Your Face (Vol. 1) (2008)
  • TRV$DJAM - Fix Your Face (Vol. 2) (2009)

Appears on

  • Shifty Shellshock - Happy Love Sick (2004)
  • Various Artists - DJ Darkzone Presents Club Stars (2005)
  • N.A.S.A. - "The Mayor" (feat. The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface and DJ AM)


  • Time in Malta - Alone with the Alone (2004)


  • Dilated Peoples - Neighborhood Watch (2004)
  • Various Artists - Oorgasm 17 (2004)


  • Matthew Strachan - Rock Serious Electric Roadshow (1993)
  • Papa Roach - Infest (2000)
  • Babyface - Face2Face (2001)
  • Will Smith - Born to Reign (2002)
  • Lady Sovereign - Public Warning (2006)
  • Lady Sovereign - "Those Were the Days" (2007)
  • N.A.S.A. - The Spirit of Apollo (2009)


  • Three 6 Mafia - "Stay Fly" (DJ AM Remix) (2007)
  • Ashlee Simpson - "Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya)" (DJ AM and Eli Escobar Remix) (2008)
  • Johnny Cash - "Ring of Fire" (Team Canada Blend/DJ AM Edit) (2008)
  • Weezer - "Troublemaker" (DJ AM and Eli Escobar Remix) (2008)
  • The Guru Josh Project - "Infinity" (Final Mashup Mix) (2008)
  • Chris Cornell - "Part of Me" (DJ AM Remix) (2008)
  • AutoErotique - "Gladiator" (Steve Aoki VS. DJ AM Remix) (2009)
  • Bell Biv DeVoe - "Poison" vs. Beastie Boys - "Intergalactic" (Produced and mixed by DJ AM) (2009)[47]


  1. Ehrich Dowd, Kathy (2009-09-29). "Medical Examiner Rules DJ AM Death an Accidental Overdose".,,20308920,00.html. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  2. Style & Culture; No sleep for DJ A.M. in the p.m.; Having Caught the Ears of the Right People, he Juggles Star Parties and Club Gigs, Gina Piccalo, Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2003
  3. DJ AM Badly Burned in Plane Crash, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 25, 2008
  4. Internationally known Jewish DJ badly burned in plane crash, The Jerusalem Post, September 24, 2008
  5. "I Put a Gun in My Mouth and Pulled the Trigger". Glamour. Condé Nast Publications. January 2, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2009. 
  6. Talented yet troubled DJ AM's last, sad song The Philadelphia Inquirer August 30, 2009
  7. DJ AM Opens Up About Suicide Attempt Retrieved August 29, 2009.
  8. A look back as Travis Barker and DJ AM look ahead to a 'full recovery' LA Times "On Monday morning I went to a meeting and said, 'I can’t deejay sober — I sucked. This is how I pay my rent, and if I can’t deejay, I don’t know what I’m going to do.' After the meeting, a guy came up to me and said, 'I promise you, if you stay sober, your career will go further than you ever imagined possible."
  9. DJ AM with Glamour Retrieved August 27, 2009
  10. Ibid
  11. Ibid
  12. 12.0 12.1 Dr. Drew blames pain medicine in death of DJ AM Moody, Nekesa Mumbi. "Pinsky recalled how when Crazytown's Seth "Shifty" Binzer, a former patient on "Celebrity Rehab," was going through his recovery process, Pinsky urged him to reach out to DJ AM and who was a former member of the defunct band, to help learn how to stay sober. "He was someone I referred people to to learn about recovery," said Pinsky."
  13. It's Over – Again – for Nicole Richie and DJ AM Retrieved August 29, 2009.
  14. "Nicole Richie, Fiancé Call Off Engagement". 2005-12-07.,26334,1138773,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  15. Nicole Richie and DJ AM Retrieved August 29, 2009.
  16. Ingrassia, Lisa (2007-03-17). "Mandy Moore and DJ AM Call it Quits".,,20014751,00.html. 
  17. "Resume: Special Events". Adam Goldstein. 
  18. Dusk Nightclub Official Website
  19. - Travis Barker, DJ AM To Perform At New Year's Eve Party 01/Dec/2008
  20. - Latest Details on Travis Barker, DJ AM Reunion Gig 01/Dec/2008
  21. Travis Barker, DJ AM Reuniting for Performance" TV Guide. December 1, 2008. Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  22. DJ AM was found dead in his apartment yesterday by his good friend Kyle Wilkins. Daily Mail. Retrieved August 29, 2009.
  23. DJ AM Drug Intervention Series Might Still Air OK Magazine. September 24, 2009.
  24. Series hosted by late DJ AM still in play at MTV Reuters. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  25. DJ AM's 'Gone Too Far' trailer: Will you watch? Pop Watch. October 9, 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  26. MTV Previews DJ AM Series Gone Too Far Kate Stanhope, TV GUIDE. Retrieved on October 12, 2009.
  27. N9NEGroup DJ AM page
  28. DJ AM Biography DJ Retrieved September 4, 2009.
  29. Silverman, Stephen M.; Marx, Linda (2008-09-20). "Travis Barker and DJ AM in Jet Crash".,,20227709,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  30. "4 killed, 2 hurt as rock star's jet crashes". 2008-09-21. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  31. Life & Style Magazine December 1, p.35,
  32. "Drummer Barker 'to fully recover'". BBC News. 2008-09-21. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  33. "Musicians in jet crash expected to recover". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  34. In December 2008, Goldstein filed a civil lawsuit against the plane's charter company, Learjet, Goodyear tire and the estates of the pilots; the suit claims negligence on the part of the pilots and a manufacturing defect on the part of the plane. Goldstein was asking for damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement and loss of earnings.
  35. DJ AM Files Lawsuit in Fatal Learjet Crash, December 23, 2008
  36. 31/Dec/2008 DJ AM Addresses Rumors of Plane Crash Lawsuit
  37. DJ AM: How Plane Crash May Have Saved My Life October 16, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2009.
  38. Oh, Eunice (2009-08-28). "DJ AM Found Dead in New York City".,,20301276,00.html. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  39. 28/Aug/2009 - Celebrity Disc Jockey 'DJ AM' Found Dead in New York Apartment
  40. Lee, Chris. "Adam Goldstein dies at 36; club owner gained fame as DJ AM". Los Angeles Times.,0,379427.story. Retrieved 28 August 2009 "Celebrity Disc Jockey 'DJ AM' Found Dead in New York Apartment". 
  41. "Fate of DJ AM show unclear as speculation over death grows". 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  42. "DJ AM Had Nine OxyContin Pills in His Body". 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  43. Celebs Respond En Masse to DJ AM's Death; "He Struggled With Pain," Friend Says E! Online. Retrieved August 29, 2009.
  44. Funeral held for DJ AM, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 3, 2009
  45. Nicole Richie & Lindsay Lohan Attend DJ AM Memorial Retrieved September 4, 2009.
  46. Drug overdose killed DJ AM, official says Retrieved September 29, 2009.
  47. Guitar Hero news: 5th edition, Van Halen, tour/reality show? AV Club. October 9, 2009. Retrieved on October 22, 2009.

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Adam Goldstein. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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