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Juice WRLD—whose birth name is Jarad Anthony Higgins—was returning home to Chicago from California. According to witnesses, the rapper got off the plane then had a seizure while walking through the airport. Law enforcement insiders tell TMZ that he was bleeding from the mouth when paramedics arrived on the scene but was still conscious. Emergency responders rushed Juice to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a few moments after arriving at the facility. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the rapper's death to WGN and The New York Times. At this point, the cause of death is still unknown, but per the Chicago Police Department, there were no signs of foul play.
"Shortly after arriving to Chicago, he suffered what appears to be some type of medical emergency according to people traveling with him," a Chicago Police Department spokesperson told E! News. "There were no signs of foul play and all individuals aboard the aircraft are cooperating with CPD and have given all of their information. Currently we are awaiting the Cook County medical examiner on the cause and manner of death."
NPR reports the autopsy for Juice WRLD will likely take place on Monday (Dec. 9).
The artist turned 21 years old on Dec. 2.
Juice WRLD caught mainstream attention in 2018 with his smash single, "Lucid Dreams." The track peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. While "Lucid Dreams" blended rock melodies to make a trap ballad, Juice WRLD also captivated audiences with his impressive handle of lyricism. His ability to freestyle on command for extended periods of time generated him a cult-like following. This versatility led many to believe that he would become one of the biggest stars in the world. Close collaborator, fellow Chicagoan, and friend G Herbo, likened Juice to the legendary Michael Jackson and his management team also compared him to legends.
'I totally believe, deep in my heart, that he is the GOAT and the only person that can take the throne away from you, or whoever else you want to put at the top of the rap game—if it is Travis, if it is J. Cole. I feel like he is the future of this rap shit," his day-to-day manager, Peter Jideonwo, told Complex. "It could take him five years, but I think he is going to get there, and that throne is gonna be his." His label manager, Lil Bibby, added: "He records like Future and Young Thug, but better. I'm vouching for him like that."
Like a lot of fallen artists, Juice WRLD foreshadowed his death with his lyrics. In the song, "Legends," he pays tribute to Lil Peep and XXXTentacion. He also put a number on his potential demise.
"What's the 27 Clu-u-u-ub?" Juice sings. "We ain't making it past 21."
A rep provided a statement to Complex on behalf of Interscope Geffen A&M Records:
Juice made a profound impact on the world in such a short period of time. He was a gentle soul, whose creativity knew no bounds, an exceptional human being and artist who loved and cared for his fans above everything else. To lose someone so kind and so close to our hearts is devastating. Our thoughts are with Juice’s family and friends, everyone at his label Grade A, and his millions of fans around the world.
To lose someone so kind and so close to our hearts is devastating. Our thoughts are with Juice’s family and friends, everyone at his label Grade A, and his millions of fans around the world.— Interscope Records (@Interscope) December 8, 2019