Juice Wrld Remembered By Family and Friends at Private Funeral in Chicago
By Meredith B. Kile
FilmMagic/FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Arts And Music Festival
Juice Wrld's family and friends are paying tribute to the late rapper.
The "Lucid Dreams" rapper, whose real name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, died on Sunday, less than a week after his 21st birthday after suffering a seizure at Chicago's Midway airport. On Friday, his loved ones gathered for an open-casket funeral in Harvey, Illinois, to remember their late friend, brother and son.
In the funeral program obtained by TMZ and shared on Instagram by fellow rapper Young Thug, Juice Wrld's mother, Carmela Wallace, left an emotional tribute to her son, writing, “My dear son Jarad, God trusted me to raise you and I poured all I had into you as the Lord guided me. We were inseparable and even though you left home early, we were always in each other’s hearts and always had a special bond."
"We were always overjoyed to see each other, and you still called me 'mommy' as you hugged and kissed me when you saw me,” she continued. "Your love was pure and innocent, and your heart was genuine. You truly cared about people and wanted to make the world a better place. I am going to miss you dearly. Rest in peace my dear one; mommy loves you."
The program also included tributes from Juice Wrld's siblings and grandmother, who gave eulogies at his funeral service, according to multiple reports.
A rep for the Chicago Police Department told ET on Sunday that shortly after arriving in Chicago, the rapper "suffered what appears to be some type of medical emergency according to people traveling with him. There were no signs of foul play and all individuals aboard the aircraft are cooperating with CPD and have given all of their information."
A rep for the Cook County Bureau of Administration told ET on Monday that the cause of the rapper's death was still pending, while Wallace told TMZ in a statement on Thursday that her son struggled with drug addiction, saying that, while her son rapped about drugs, he wasn't doing it to promote their use, but to help those battling addiction.
"We loved Jarad with all of our hearts and cannot believe our time with him has been cut short. As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency," Wallace said in her statement. "Addiction knows no boundaries and its impact goes way beyond the person fighting it. Jarad was a son, brother, grandson, friend and so much more to so many people who wanted more than anything to see him defeat addiction."
The music community has spent the week paying tribute to the promising young rapper, with Nicki Minaj using her acceptance speech for the Game-Changer Award at the Billboard Women In Music Awards on Thursday to pay tribute to her late collaborator, saying she didn't feel "comfortable [talking] about me when someone so important to our culture just died."
"I felt like he was a kindred spirit, and looking back now, I wish I did something differently or said something to help," Minaj told the crowd. "He spoke to me in detail about how in love he was with his girlfriend and how passionate he was about music and when he was in the studio with me, he did so many songs, so quickly."
Minaj said the young performer was always "honest and pure about what he felt," which was something that "inspired" her. "I want to honor him tonight and send my condolences to him and his family and his girlfriend and his friends and everybody."