Juice WRLD, who built a career by posting his melodic hip-hop songs online before signing to a major record label, died Sunday after collapsing from a seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead. No cause of death has been revealed and an autopsy will be conducted.
Juice WRLD lived in Los Angeles at least part of the time, and was a frequent visitor to local high schools, including John Marshall High School in Los Feliz, where many students considered him a friend.
Born Jarad Higgins, the artist began his career as a teenager, recording songs on his cell phone and uploading them to SoundCloud. His debut EP, 9 9 9, brought him to record company attention, and when his June 2017 breakup song All Girls Are The Same became a SoundCloud favorite, he was signed to Interscope Records at age 19.
After that, he achieved success with Lucid Dreams, a song built around Sting’s 1993 hit Shape of My Heart. It rose to No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart, and showed that Juice WRLD was emerging as a pop sensation.
His first album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, was released in 2018 and certified platinum. Its follow-up, Death Race for Love, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in March.
Juice WRLD was born in Chicago on Dec. 2, 1998. He took childhood piano lessons and was influenced by local rappers like Kanye West and Chief Keef, along with rock acts. He spoke openly about his struggles with substance abuse during his high school years, but began to turn away from drugs as his success increased.
Survivors and memorial plans were not immediately available.