Earlier this week, Sting, whose 1993 track ‘Shape of My Heart’ was reworked to create Juice’s, paid tribute to the late rapper after he passed away following a “medical emergency” at a Chicago airport.
Read more: Juice WRLD, 1998-2019 – the NME obituary
“This is such a tragic loss for the world of music, a young life with so much potential and a unique and precious talent,” he said in a statement sent to NME. “‘Lucid Dreams’ was my favourite of all the many interpolations of ‘Shape of my Heart’, it will resonate for many years to come. My sincere condolences to the family.”
The former Police frontman also took to Instagram to post a photograph of Juice WRLD with the caption: “Tragic loss of a talented artist @juicewrld999 My thoughts are with his family and friends.”
The tribute came after Sting once joked that the royalties from the ‘Lucid Dreams’ sample would “put [his] grandkids through college”. He ultimately sued for a reported 85 per cent share of its earnings. In a previous interview with NME, Juice WRLD claimed that the percentage was more, but he wasn’t fazed by it.
Now, a spokesperson for Sting has told Billboard that claims Sting had taken legal action against Juice WRLD were “simply untrue”.
According to TMZ, the rapper (real name Jarad Anthony Higgins) suffered a seizure shortly after he landed in Chicago from California.
Officials said they rushed to Midway Airport around 2am where the 21-year-old suffered a medical emergency and was thereafter transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Illinois confirmed Juice WRLD’s death in a statement published by The New York Times.
Earlier, today (December 12), the late rapper’s family opened up about his death.
“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,” they said.
“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.”