“Life is so fragile”, says a music publicist over text this morning as we try and process the tragic and unexpected death of rapper Juice WRLD. Having just completed an Australian tour and a fitting finale at Spilt Milk in Ballarat last weekend, the country and music industry was buzzing over his recent visit Down Under. But what would not be expected is that exactly one week later, it would be revealed that it would also be his last performance as the 21-year-old passed away following a “medical emergency” at Chicago Midway Airport.
First reported by TMZ, the up-and-coming rapper – whose real name is Jarad Anthony Higgins – was walking through the airport before he experienced a seizure, according to law enforcement sources. He was taken to hospital however passed away shortly after. He had only celebrated his 21st birthday last week. A statement from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed his death, but did not provide a cause.
The hip-hop sensation found a platform for his music on Sound Cloud in 2015, posting music which fused emo and rock sounds with hip-hop sensibilities. In 2017, the self-made rapper released ‘Lucid Dreams’ independently and in 2018 the track peaked at number 2 on the pop charts. After signing with InterScope Records the same year, he released his debut album Goodbye & Good Riddance. And just as quickly, WRLD’s single ‘ All Girls Are The Same’ peaked at number 2 on the charts yet again. The album was certified platinum by the end of the year.
Juice WRLD has collaborated with the likes of Ellie Goulding, benny blanco, BTS, Halsey and had an original song feature in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. His second album Death Race For Love was released earlier this year and reached number 1 in the charts. And at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in May, he took out the honour of Top New Artist.
His quick rise to fame has led the rapper to garner a strong fan base and following, particularly within the music industry. Twitter is flooding with tributes as a community mourns the death of a star who died before his time.
— Travis Barker (@travisbarker) December 8, 2019
— camila (@Camila_Cabello) December 8, 2019
Juice WRLD was an incredibly talented dude and things like his death remind me of the unfairness of the world. Rest In Peace, love to his family friends and team
— FINNEAS (@finneas) December 8, 2019
r.i.p juice wrld
— rex orange county (@rexorangecounty) December 8, 2019