Juice WRLD, the Chicago-based rapper who scored a No. 1 album with “Death Race for Love” earlier this year, died on Sunday morning, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He was 21.
The Sun-Times reported that after got off a private plane at Midway International Airport at 3:30 a.m. CST, the rapper experienced “an unknown medical issue,” which NPR later said was a seizure. He was rushed to a Chicago-area hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the New York Times.
The cause of death is currently unknown, but an autopsy will be done, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Illinois confirms.
Born Jarad Anthony Higgins, Juice WRLD was known as one of the brightest new rappers in the burgeoning SoundCloud rap genre. His 2017 EPs, “Nothings Different” and “JUICEWrld 9 9 9,” caught the eye of the music business at large, which he parlayed into a huge deal with Interscope Records. His debut album, “Goodbye and Good Riddance,” which featured “Lucid Dreams,” was released a year later. The single was wildly popular and ultimately landed at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts.
Additionally, “All Girls Are the Same,” the first single from that same record, hit No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well.
Juice WRLD had been a popular recurring voice on tracks from the likes of Ellie Goulding, Halsey and Benny Blanco among others.
He was known for his smooth voice and catchy lyrics, which were inspired by emo music, yet fused trap drums.
In a statement Sunday afternoon, BMG Thomas Scherer paid tribute to Higgins, calling him “one of the most ambitious, dynamic, and prolific artists of his time, with a unique style all his own.”
“Above all, as a person, he was kind, thoughtful, and generous. He had a vibrant soul, an authenticity full of energy, love, curiosity and music. We admire him as the person he was, as much as the person he was becoming,” it continued. “What he accomplished and achieved in such a short time, and at such a young age, is nothing short of extraordinary. We are absolutely devastated and mourn the loss of a young bright star gone far too soon.”