Music News

R.I.P., Tanner Seebaum

We've got some sad news to share with you this morning: Tanner Seebaum, the sixteen-year-old DJ we told you about last month who was battling brain cancer, passed away this past Friday, July 12. As you might remember, a number of Denver dubstep icons stepped up to support the young man, who was able to spend his last days happily spinning records, including a chance to deejay alongside Reid Speed and Downlink and guest-spot at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino's Rehab pool party in Las Vegas during Electric Daisy Carnival.

See also: - Dubstep icons help dreams come true for sixteen-year-old DJ battling cancer - Whomp there it is! The story behind the ever popular, award-winning Whomp Truck - DJ Ishe wants you to unplug from society

From Horan & McConaty:

Tanner was an inspirational, courageous and creative young man who battled cancer most of his life. First diagnosed at less than two years of age with a brain tumor and in critical condition, Tanner fought hard early on to beat the odds. Tanner had a total of three of these terrible tumors before he was eight.

Tanner had numerous surgeries and endured countless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation for his tumors before an eight-year remission. Then, in May 2012, he was diagnosed with a new tumor recurrence on his brain stem. This one was aggressive, inoperable and incurable. Doctors gave him less than four months to live. Undeterred, Tanner decided to pursue his passions and dreams even in the face of a terminal diagnosis, never allowing the cancer or tumors to slow him down.

During his life, despite often overwhelming pain, Tanner never complained. His life was punctuated with the inspiration he gave to others directly and through the pursuit of his dreams. He was a fighter, never giving up, and he spent his time giving back to others. In 2003, Tanner served as the ambassador for Children's Hospital Colorado. He loved to spend time with his family and friends, and he always put others ahead of himself. But likely the most impressive accomplishment was how Tanner decided to live the last year of his life, after receiving grim news at only 15 years old when told he had only months to live.

With such a short time, many people would fold immediately. Not Tanner. He obtained his learner's permit and learned to drive a car. He rappelled off a 40-story skyscraper. He went on vacations to the places he loved. He told his parents that because he loved music and technology, he wanted to become a DJ. Tanner found a new DJ school and instructor Walt White in early June of 2012, became the first student and diligently worked for 3+ hours a day learning and perfecting his craft.

He used music and deejaying to channel his sickness and the last year of his life into something positive. Once again, he beat the predicted odds, living far past his diagnosis of only a few months. And Tanner became a great DJ. By the spring of 2013, Tanner was booking more and more gigs and receiving invitations to perform at venues around Denver. As the one-year mark for his diagnosis passed in late-May of 2013, Tanner started having more serious symptoms (but had already doubled his predicted survival), and tests showed his tumor had progressed significantly. Still, his best was ahead of him.

The DJ community in Denver had gotten to know Tanner -- now DJ Seebaum -- and his impressive talent and they put together an amazing benefit with some of the biggest DJs in the world flying in to play for free. Despite serious symptoms, Tanner opened up for the headliner and absolutely brought down the house. But he wasn't done. The largest DJ show in the US is Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. Tanner was invited to perform during EDC week at the Hard Rock Hotel pool, called "Rehab Day Club".

Predictably, he crushed it, despite the bigger-than-life environment. Tanner's last gig was at BeatPort Live, an international live stream headquartered in Denver that attracts the biggest DJs in the world. Again he set the standard, with dozens of employees dancing in the aisles. Thousands of people were inspired by Tanner (DJ Seebaum), who had an incredibly successful DJ career in only one year.

Tanner's life and the way he lived it inspired those who knew him personally, and many people whom he had never met, but found inspiration through his music and determination -- tapping into his positive energy and passion for living life to the fullest. He will be deeply missed but his spirit will continue to live in the examples he set for so many.

Tanner, along with his family, worked and continue to work relentlessly to change the outcomes for children with brain tumors through funding promising medical research in the field of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, and in 2006 founded the Tanner Seebaum Foundation, a volunteer-based public charity.

In memory of Tanner and the life he lived, and in support of a continuous pursuit funding promising medical research that will one day lead to finding a cure for the type of pediatric brain tumors Tanner battled, the Seebaum family would like to request donations to the Tanner Seebaum Foundation in lieu of flowers.

To learn more about the Tanner Seebaum Foundation, please visit the Foundation's website at, or to donate directly to the Tanner Seebaum Foundation Memorial Fund, visit

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Britt Chester is a writer and video producer living in Denver, Colorado. He's covered breaking news, music, arts and cannabis for Westword since 2010. His work has appeared in GQ Magazine, Village Voice, YES! Weekly, Inman News and the Winston-Salem Journal. He likes running, cycling, and interviewing people.
Contact: Britt Chester

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