Chicago artist Juice WRLD has died at the age of 21 following a seizure. The rapper, known globally for his emo-rap style, collapsed at Chicago’s Midway Airport after suffering from what was initially reported as a “medical issue,” by the Chicago Fire Department and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
TMZ reported Sunday (Dec. 8) Juice, born Jarad Anthony Higgins, was alive when paramedics arrived on the scene. Paramedics found Higgins bleeding from the mouth and rushed him to the hospital. Higgins regained consciousness but was pronounced dead by the time he reached a local hospital. “This is being classified currently as a death investigation,” Natalia Derevyanny, Director of Communications for the Cook County medical examiner’s office, told Billboard. “There are no initial signs of foul play and we are awaiting results from the medical examiner on the cause and manner of death.” An investigation is currently underway.
Higgins was born on December 2 and raised in Chicago. After the release of his first single “All Girls Are The Same,” in 2018, he signed a record deal with Lil Bibby’s Grade A Productions and Interscope Records. Juice WRLD became known the most for his emo-rap style and rose to the top of the charts that same year with the single, “Lucid Dreams.” The track went five times platinum and earned a No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
His debut album Goodbye and Good Riddance reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and went on to sell over a million copies. His success led to adored collaborations with Travis Scott and a collaborative mixtape with Future titled, WRLD on Drugs. He also earned a Best New Artist award at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in May. His second album Death Race for Love was also a hit with fans, reaching No. 1 on the charts and sprouting the singles, “Robbery” and “Hear Me Calling.”
But his notable feats were his battles with anxiety and drug use. The artist openly talked about his use of lean in the 6th grade and taking Percocet and Xanax at the age of 15. “What do you expect if I’m a young dude that really loves music, really looks up to these artists? I didn’t have a man giving me no type of guidance,” he said about rappers and their behavior inspiring his own to Billboard. “My father wasn’t in my life like that.” he also shared with the magazine efforts to inspire his fans.
“I want to be that person that leads people out of the place they’re at,” he said. “And in the process, maybe I’ll find the key to get out of the place that I’m at. The low places I may wander into or get trapped in.”
In July, he shared with fans his road to sobriety while apologizing to his longtime girlfriend Ally Lotti. “Ima leave that s**t alone 4 good watch me, I’m done wit it,” he tweeted. “I got work to do, a lot. Learn from this everyone. Addiction kills all but you can overcome.”
He also appeared to be in good spirits leading up to his 21st birthday.
This life is yours do what tf you want do great things and change the world don’t let no one tell you SHIT.. and you’ll be bigger than “juice wrld” will ever be, and he’s going down as a legend – Jarad
— . (@JuiceWorlddd) December 1, 2019
He had plans to wrap up his third album. His friend and engineer Max Lord shared the status of the project with XXL. “We’re focusing a lot more on [Juice Wrld’s] evolution in terms of where like the first album was more dealing with the bad relationship and with heartbreak and with the torment that brought,” he said.
Juice WRLD made a splash with other artists this year like Lil Tecca’s “Ransom (Remix),” Ski Mask The Slump God’s “Nuketown” and the remake of Vitamin C’s 1999 classic pop tune, “Graduation (Friends Forever)” with benny blanco.
He is survived by his mother and older brother.