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Chicago rapper Juice WRLD dead at 21: reports

Juice WRLD accepts the award for Top New Artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 1, 2019.
Juice WRLD accepts the award for Top New Artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 1, 2019. Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

Juice WRLD, a rising rapper from the Chicago area has died, U.S. media reports say.

According to a New York Times report, the Cook County medical examiner’s office in Illinois confirmed his death in a statement Sunday.

In the statement, officials told the Times the 21-year-old rapper from Homewood, Ill., named Jarad A. Higgins, had died.

Authorities did not provide the paper with a cause of death, saying only that an autopsy was to be conducted.

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According to an NBC report, Chicago police said the rapper had suffered a “medical emergency” early Sunday morning while at Midway Airport in Chicago.

Chicago police told the Associated Press that the force is now conducting a death investigation.

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Born and raised in Chicago, Juice had enjoyed a rapid ascension since he first 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 onto the pop charts, where the song would peak at No. 2.

In early 2018, Higgins signed to Interscope Records and, in May 2018, released his debut album titled Goodbye & Good Riddance.

Included on the album was the single All Girls Are the Same, which peaked at number 41 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list.

Later in 2018, Higgins released a two-track EP titled Too Soon to honour deceased rappers Lil Peep and XXXTentacion.

In spring 2019, Higgins released his second album titled Death Race for Love.

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.

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After news of his death broke, Juice WRLD and RIP Juice WRLD were the top trending topics in Canada, with many sharing their shock and condolences.

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“Gone too soon. RIP Juice WRLD,” one Twitter user wrote.

“So sad, too young,” another user tweeted.

Fellow musicians also took to social media to share their condolences.

Singer Ellie Goulding, who collaborated with Higgins on the song Hate Me earlier this year said she “couldn’t believe it.”

“You were always such a sweet soul,” she wrote in a tweet.

“You had so much further to go, you were just getting started. You’ll be missed Juice.”

“Really shocked and sad to find out juice wrld passed away, … and so young too,” DJ Zedd wrote on Twitter. “A reminder that life can be over any moment…. be kind to one another.”

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Rapper Lil Nas X, too, shared his condolences.

“rip juice,” he wrote. “so sad how often this is happening lately to young talented rising artists.”

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— With files from the Associated Press and Reuters