'We loved Jarad with all of our hearts': Juice Wrld's family speak out about his death, drug dependency

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20:  Juice Wrld attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for MTV)
Photo credit: Getty

The family of late rapper Juice Wrld, real name Jarad Anthony Higgins, has released a statement after he collapsed in a Chicago airport and later died. 

The 21-year-old hip-hop star's private plane was met by authorities, who correctly suspected him of being in possession of drugs and weapons. Police say he began convulsing while they were speaking to him as the contraband was discovered. 

In a statement to celebrity gossip website TMZ, Higgins' mother Carmella Wallace confirmed he had been battling with substance abuse issues. 

"We loved Jarad with all of our hearts and cannot believe our time with him has been cut short," Wallace said. 

"As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency.

"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."

According to the Chicago Tribune, law enforcement officials uncovered "41 'vacuum-sealed' bags of marijuana, six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, two 9 mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, a high-capacity ammunition magazine and metal-piercing bullets" on the aircraft. 

An official cause of death has not yet been determined for the rapper, but his mother said she hoped his references to drug use in his lyrics and discussion of the issue in interviews would have a positive effect. 

"We hope the conversations he started in his music and his legacy will help others win their battles as that is what he wanted more than anything," she said. 

"We know that Jarad's legacy of love, joy and emotional honesty will live on." 

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