Janice Freeman, a favorite contestant on The Voice in 2017, has died. She was just 33 years old.
In a statement to ET, Freeman's rep said the singer passed away at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday due to combined complications of lupus and a bronchial infection. She is survived by her husband, Dion, and her 12-year-old daughter, Hannah.
According to her rep, on Saturday afternoon, Freeman began complaining that she couldn't breathe properly, and in a matter of minutes, required CPR from her husband. He called 911, continuing to do CPR until paramedics arrived. Although she was alive when she arrived at the hospital, continued efforts could not save her. Doctors believe a blood clot had formed in her lungs, causing her death.
“It's an unexpected shock to all of us," the statement reads. "She had traveled to Kansas City just a week ago (Friday, Feb 22) to perform at a gala one of my client's was sponsoring, and performed beautifully."
“She felt very weak the next morning, and my clients were very concerned and suggested she check into an ER before getting back on a plane, but Janice chose to fly home to L.A.,” the rep continued.
With heavy hearts and sadness we share the news of Janice’s passing . Details about services and in what ways the family can be supported to follow 🖤 pic.twitter.com/iNHiQ4Etnt
Freeman, who was also a survivor of cervical cancer, has been open in the past about her battle with Lupus, an autoimmune disease which attacks its own tissue, leading to a myriad of symptoms including fatigue, swollen joints, chest pains and more. According to her rap, during the past few months, her symptoms were getting progressively worse.
Her rep also shares that several months prior, doctors had inserted a port-a-cath to ease Freeman's ongoing lupus treatments, but her immune system continued to remain depressed, with even common colds threatening more serious repercussions. Throughout, Freeman remained bright and hopeful, relying on her strong faith and a sheer will to live as she maintained an active performance schedule. Her last performance was her Feb. 22 performance for a non-profit gala in Kansas City.
"She struggled every single day," Dion says in a statement via her rep. "She was constantly in pain -- literally, for years -- but was sure she would conquer it all. She just kept on fighting."
In season 13 of the singing competition show, Freeman was on Miley Cyrus’ team, where she dazzled audiences with her soulful performances. She finished 11th in the season, but continued to receive support from Cyrus.
On Sunday, Cyrus posted a photo of a rainbow, writing, “Thank you @janicefreeman… for everything. This represents you perfectly.”