Juice Wrld, the fast-rising young American rapper best known for his 2018 hit Lucid Dreams, has died shortly after suffering a seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport. He was 21 years old.
A statement from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said that Jarad A. Higgins – the rapper’s legal name – had died on Sunday, according to The New York Times. The statement did not give a cause of death.
Juice Wrld had recently returned to the US after his Death Race For Love Australian tour went to Perth, Sydney and Melbourne at the end of November.
He turned 21 while on tour, celebrating his birthday on a luxury boat on Sydney Harbour.
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The news of his death was broken by TMZ, which cited law enforcement sources saying that the rapper suffered a seizure while walking through the airport. He was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after.
Born and raised in Chicago, Juice had enjoyed a rapid ascension since he began posting his songs to SoundCloud as a teenager in 2015, working in a style that blended elements of emo and rock with hip-hop.
His independently-released 2017 track Lucid Dreams proved to be a career-maker, rising steadily until an official single release in 2018 broke him on to the pop charts, where the song would peak at No.2.
Incredibly sad… @JuiceWorlddd we had some good times together. Can’t believe the dark side got you. There was so much light inside you. RIP 💔
— THE CHAINSMOKERS (@TheChainsmokers) December 8, 2019
Signing to Interscope Records in early 2018, Juice released his debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, almost immediately after. It was certified platinum before the end of the year, and contained yet another No. 2 single in All Girls Are the Same.
His busy year continued with a summer in memoriam EP dedicated to late fellow SoundCloud rappers XXXTentacion and Lil Peep; a collaborative album with Future, Wrld on Drugs, which reached No.2 on the album chart in October; and an original song on the soundtrack for the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Many of Juice Wrld’s song’s referenced prescription drug use. In 2018, he told The New York Times he used Xanax heavily in high school but had been trying to cut back.
“I smoke weed, and every now and then I slip up and do something that’s poor judgment,” he said.
“I have a lot going for me, I recognise it’s a lot of big things, a lot of big looks. I want to be there, and you don’t have to overdose to not be there.”
Juice released his second album, Death Race for Love, earlier this year. It was his first effort to reach No. 1 on the album chart. Also this year, he toured Europe with Nicki Minaj on a co-headlining bill.
In May, he was named top new artist at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards.