Juice WRLD Police Racial Profiling Suspected

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The fact cops were all over Juice WRLD multiple times -- including an NYC bust last year -- pisses off his friends, who think cops were merely profiling a 20-year-old rich black man who dares to fly on private jets.

Sources who regularly interacted with Juice and were close to him tell TMZ ... all of the run-ins he had with cops are more than suspicious. The fact feds just happened to show up at multiple airports where he and/or his private jet were searched is enough for Juice's inner circle to believe this might well have something to do with race and rappers.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Juice got arrested in 2018 at NYC's La Guardia Airport after officers responded to a call for "prohibited items" found inside one of his checked bags. We're told the items included a small amount of marijuana and bottles of codeine cough syrup.

Juice WRLD Running the Table on Music Charts ... Tunes Soar on the Big 3

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Juice WRLD's death resonated with the fans everywhere, but his music might be having an even bigger impact right now ... because it's flooding almost every chart imaginable.

The rapper is running the board on digital platforms in the wake of his death Sunday in Chicago ... with several of JW's songs and albums claiming top spots on Amazon, Apple and Spotify -- seeing exponential surges of several thousand percentage points, in some cases.

Let's start with Amazon's Movers and Shakers list ... where Juice's single, "Legends," has risen in the ranks by a whopping 84,954% to reach #1 in just a couple days. Two of his other tracks -- "Lucid Dreams," both the explicit and clean versions -- are sitting at #2 and #3.

For albums, Juice's "Death Race For Love" and "Goodbye & Good Riddance" also claim the top 3 spots on Amazon's CDs and Vinyl list. In short, folks are swooping up his content.

On the Apple side of things, Juice WRLD is also toppling some of the hottest names in the game this past week -- including Roddy Ricch, The Weeknd, DaBaby and Trippie Redd. On the service's Top 100 songs chart, Juice claims 8 spots ... including #1, #2, #5 and #6.

And, if you thought your 2019 Spotify Wrapped list was set, it might just change this week based on how dominant Juice has been there too ... he's got 9 spots locked in alone.

Juice's Top 10 tracks on Spotify have also been getting tons of love (and plays) -- we're talking hundreds of thousands, especially "Lucid Dreams," which got streamed over 990k times since Sunday. Of course, Juice is no stranger to chart success -- 7 of his songs have made on Billboard, and 3 cracked the Top 10. He'll probably be up there again next week.

TMZ broke the story ... Juice suffered a fatal seizure early Sunday morning at Chicago's Midway Airport. Federal agents were there waiting for him and his entourage, and after conducting a search ... found tons of weed and a few guns on board.

We're told at some point in the search, Juice was seen ingesting multiple pills believed to be Percocet. Juice suffered a seizure shortly thereafter and died soon after that.

He was 21.

RIP

Juice WRLD Mixed Percocet Pills w/ Lean Daily ... So Claims Ex-GF

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Juice WRLD had a habit of taking up to 3 potent Percocet pills a day and would mix them with lean ... this according to his ex-girlfriend who claims the rapper became physically abusive when he tried to get clean.

Alexia Smith says she was in a relationship with the rapper for nearly a year in 2018 ... and in that time she'd see him pop pills with lean as he struggled with depression, which she says stemmed from previous heartbreaks and the feeling of being misunderstood.

Smith claims Juice also used weed, Xanax, Ecstasy, morphine and coke ... but Percocet and lean were his go-to vices. She says she tried helping WRLD get clean but, during his withdrawals, their arguments turned violent. In one instance, she claims Juice picked her off the ground and slammed her into a wall ... squeezing her so tight she came away bruised all over her arms.

Smith told the Daily Mail she started dating him in early 2018 ... and when he flew her out to L.A. where he was taking meetings with music labels, she noticed the new drug world surrounding him.

She claims that within days of arriving in L.A., someone from a label gave him morphine and cocaine. Smith says WRLD didn't use coke at the time but it wasn't long before he did.

As we first reported ... the feds were on Juice WRLD's tail long before Homeland Security agents searched Juice WRLD's private jet last week when it landed at Chicago's Midway Airport.

As you well know by now ... the rapper suffered a seizure at the airport, which turned out to be fatal.

Marie Fredriksson Roxette Singer Dead at 61

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Marie Fredriksson -- lead singer for the pop-rock duo, Roxette -- has died after a 17-year battle with cancer ... TMZ has learned.

According to her management group ... the Swedish musician passed away Monday. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002, Marie received aggressive treatment that was ultimately successful, allowing Roxette to return after a long hiatus and release new music.

However, Marie was advised by doctors to stop touring and focus on her health in 2016.

Roxette formed in 1986 and became an international sensation with their breakout #1 hit in 1989 -- "The Look."

The duo's success continued the following year with the single "It Must Have Been Love," which was featured on the soundtrack of the iconic Julia Roberts/Richard Gere rom-com, "Pretty Woman."

The group's other big hits include "Listen to Your Heart" and "Joyride." All in all, Roxette put out 10 albums to go along with 10 major tours.

Marie's management says she "leaves us a grand musical legacy." It says, "Her amazing voice – both strong and sensitive – and her magical live performances will be remembered by all of us who was lucky enough to witness them," adding ... "But we also remember a wonderful person with a huge appetite for life, and woman with a very big heart who cared for everybody she met."

Her former bandmate, guitarist and singer Per Gessle, says ... "Thank you, Marie, thanks for everything. You were an outstanding musician, a master of the voice, an amazing performer. Thanks for painting my black and white songs in the most beautiful colours. You were the most wonderful friend for over 40 years."

Fredriksson's survived by her husband and 2 children.

She was 61.

RIP

Juice WRLD Cops Say He Swallowed Percs ... Tried to Hide 'em from Feds

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Juice WRLD might've made a fatal decision as law enforcement searched his private jet -- swallowing a bunch of painkillers in an attempt to hide them from the feds.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the pilot who was flying Juice's private plane alerted authorities on the ground that the rapper's entourage had guns on them -- a big no-no in air travel. When they landed, FBI and FAA agents were waiting for Juice and company.

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We're told at some point between the plane landing and the feds conducting their search ... Juice was seen swallowing several Percocet pills in what people believed was an attempt to hide them. Our sources say the pills might've contributed to his death in a possible OD.

An autopsy was performed on the rapper Monday, but additional testing, including toxicology, cardiac pathology and neuropathology is still needed before determining an official cause.

Juice WRLD Allegedly Popped Pills Before Seizures ... Feds Find 70 lbs. Marijuana

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The private jet Juice WRLD flew on to Chicago was loaded down with 70 pounds of marijuana ... and cops say people on the plane told them the rapper had popped several pills prior to suffering seizures.

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Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the FBI confiscated the huge stash of weed from several suitcases that were on board the flight. We obtained this photo of the marijuana and luggage in the private jet terminal at Midway.

According to law enforcement, several members of Juice's team aboard the flight -- which landed around 1 AM Sunday -- told them Juice had taken "several unknown pills" prior to the seizures which led to him getting rushed to a hospital.

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Further, we're told one of Juice's associates told authorities the 21-year-old rapper has a Percocet problem. Our law enforcement sources also say a bottle of codeine cough syrup was found on the plane.

Juice has admitted abusing lean, or codeine cough syrup, in the past -- and taking prescription pills like Percocet. His cause of death hasn't been determined ... the Cook County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on Monday.

Two men -- Chris Long and Henry Dean -- were arrested for possession of handguns. We're told cops recovered 3 guns in total. Dean was released without bail, and Long is out after posting a $1,500 bond.

Originally Published -- 7:01 AM PT

Juice WRLD Dead at 21 ... Final Moments Captured

4:03 PM PT -- Footage of what appears to be Juice WRLD's final moments in the air and finally on the ground is starting to surface, and the rapper seemed to be in good spirits before his death.

DJ Akademiks shared some video captured by guys who were on a private jet with Juice as he was airborne from L.A. to Chicago late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.

In the first video, you see Juice clowning around with his buddies ... one of whom he throws water on as the guy's fast asleep. He wasn't mad about it though -- all in good fun.

A second video appears to show the crew landing at Chicago's Midway airport, which would mark Juice's actual last moments on this Earth. In the clip, you see him hanging out with one of his buds in the back -- apparently fully conscious and alert as they look at something together -- possibly a phone. Soon afterward, he would suffer a seizure and later die at the hospital.

9:55 AM PT -- One of the songs on Juice's "Too Soon" EP was called "Legends" and it has a pretty prophetic lyric. As we said, the track was about Lil Peep and XXXTentacion's deaths. In the song, he raps, "What's the 27 club? We ain't making it past 21."

The song and EP were released on June 19, 2018 ... the day after XXX was murdered in South Florida. Juice WRLD and XXXTentacion recorded a track called, "where did u go?" ... which was released in July 2018.

9:42 AM PT -- Juice's fellow artists are waking up to the shocking news. Lil Nas X posted about losing yet another "young talented rising" artist.

And, Camila Cabello had a single emoji reaction to Juice's death.

Juice WRLD, the talented young rapper and singer whose career was just taking off, is dead after suffering a seizure in Chicago's Midway airport ... TMZ has learned.

Juice's flight from California landed early Sunday morning and, after deplaning ... witnesses tell us he suffered the seizure while walking through the airport. Law enforcement sources say he was bleeding from the mouth when paramedics got on scene.

We're told Juice -- real name Jarad Anthony Higgins -- was still conscious when he was transported by Chicago Fire. However, he was pronounced dead a short time later at the hospital. The cause of death is unclear at this time.

Juice WRLD's major-label career was just starting after he almost climbed to the top of the charts in 2018. His first huge hit came in summer 2018 with "Lucid Dreams" ... which made it to #2.

His song, "All Girls Are the Same," also became a hit when Lil Yachty was featured on the remix.

In fact, it was that song's success that drew the attention of Interscope Records ... which signed him to a multi-million dollar contract. One month after releasing his first studio album, "Goodbye & Good Riddance" ... Juice released the 2-track EP, "Too Soon," as a tribute to Lil Peep and XXXTentacion.

Juice also had a feature on Travis Scott's enormous "AstroWorld" album, singing the hook on the track, "No Bystanders."

Higgins' stage name was reportedly inspired by Tupac Shakur's performance in the 1992 film, "Juice."

Juice WRLD just turned 21 last Monday.

RIP

Originally Published -- 6:38 AM PT

'Benson' & 'Star Trek' Actor Rene Auberjonois Dead at 79 ... Son Cites Lung Cancer

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Rene Auberjonois -- who starred in "Benson," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and several other hit shows over the decades -- has died.

The veteran TV, movie and voice actor passed away Sunday at his L.A.-based home after a battle with metastatic lung cancer, according to his son, Remy, who spoke to the Associated Press.

Auberjonois is perhaps best known as Clayton Endicott III on "Benson" -- the snobbish chief of staff to Governor Eugene X Gatling in the hit '80s sitcom -- which itself was a spinoff of "Soap." He played the role for 6 seasons, acting in 135 episodes through 1986.

In the '90s, he went on to play Odo on 'Deep Space Nine' opposite Avery Brooks -- starring in all 173 episodes. His TV career was even more prolific beyond that though -- Auberjonois had supporting roles in hits like "NET Playhouse," "Rhoda," "Charlie's Angels," "Frasier," "Starsky and Hutch" "The Jeffersons," "L.A. Law," "Matlock," "Boston Legal," "Madam Secretary" and many, many more.

As far as movies are concerned, he might be best remembered as Father John Mulcahy in "M.A.S.H." ... and for voicing Chef Louis in "The Little Mermaid." He acted in plenty of others too -- 'Police Academy 5," "King Kong," "The Patriot," "Eyes of Laura Mars," "Batman Forever," etc.

The guy might've been an even busier voice actor, having lent his talents to animated series like "Jonny Quest," "Pound Puppies," "The Looney Tunes Show," "Scooby-Doo," "Archer," "Justice League" and a bunch of others. In short, he worked a lot ... and had an extensive resume.

Auberjonois is survived by his wife, Judith, his 2 children and three grandchildren. He was 79.

RIP

Big Bird Puppeteer Caroll Spinney Dead at 85 ... 'Sesame' Resident Since '69

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Caroll Spinney -- the guy who manned Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on "Sesame Street" for nearly half a century -- has died.

Spinney passed away Sunday at his Connecticut home after living with Dystonia for a while, according to Sesame Workshop ... the nonprofit org behind the hit children's television show. Dystonia is a movement disorder in which a person's muscles contract uncontrollably.

Incredibly, the longtime puppeteer worked on the show for 49 years ... and retired from 'Sesame' just last year. He had been on the show since its early days in 1969. Besides being the man behind Big Bird, Spinney also handled and voiced Oscar the Grouch.

The legendary Jim Henson brought Spinney on-board, and by most accounts ... he struggled bringing Big Bird to life at first and having him resonate with the audience. Eventually, Spinney said he turned BB into a "big kid" character -- and the rest was history.

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He starred in thousands of "Sesame Street" episodes -- more than any other cast member -- and it was certainly no walk in the park controlling the 8-foot bird costume. Spinney said he would have to hold the 5-pound head up with his right hand and work the mouth and eyebrows on that end ... while controlling both arms with just his own left one.

There was a fishing wire that connected both extremities inside the suit, and Spinney would operate both by using just his left side. Oscar, no doubt, was much easier to work.

He's survived by his wife, Debra, and his three children. Spinney was 85.

RIP

Ron Liebman 'Friends' & 'Norma Rae' Star Dead at 82

Ron Liebman, the award-winning actor who starred in 'Norma Rae,' has died in New York City ... according to his family.

Ron passed away from pneumonia on Friday in his hometown after a long and illustrious career on stage, film and TV.

He costarred with Sally Field as Reuben, the union rep who inspires the title character in 1979's "Norma Rae." He also had important roles in "Slaughterhouse-Five," "Night Falls on Manhattan" and "Garden State."

Younger audiences will recognize Ron as Rachel's often-disappointed dad on "Friends."

He won an Emmy in 1979 for his starring role in "Kaz" ... a short-lived drama he co-created and wrote -- and also won a Tony for "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches" in 1993.

Most recently, Ron was the voice of Walter, Malory Archer's husband, on the FX hit animated comedy, "Archer."

He's survived by his wife, actress Jessica Walter, whom he married in 1983.

Ron was 82.

Country Singer Kylie Rae Harris Drunk And Speeding During Fatal Crash ... Investigation Reveals

Country singer Kylie Rae Harris was wasted and going over 100 MPH during a fatal car crash that killed her and another person ... this according to law enforcement.

Kylie died in a car crash on a New Mexico highway back in September, and the Taos County Sheriff says its investigation determined she was driving 102 MPH when her car struck the rear of another vehicle in the three-car collision.

According to cops ... Kylie's car was still going 95 MPH when it crashed head-on into a second car traveling the opposite direction, killing a 16-year-old girl.

As for the toxicology report, Kylie had a BAC of .28 at the time of the crash -- more than three times the legal limit.

The autopsy report reveals Kylie suffered several fractures, including broken skull bones, and cuts to her face and legs. The docs say her breastbone, pelvis, and multiple ribs were also broken.

Harris was reportedly convicted of driving while intoxicated back in 2017 and had been ordered to install an ignition interlock device in her car.

Kylie was only 30 years old.

'Tarzan' Star Ron Ely Police Video from Fatal Encounter with Actor's Son

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"Tarzan" star Ron Ely's son's fatal encounter with cops was caught on camera ... and you can hear police giving commands before unloading a deadly barrage of bullets.

TMZ's obtained police footage of the officer-involved shooting that killed Ron's 30-year-old son, Cameron Ely, outside his parent's California property after Cameron allegedly stabbed his mother, Valerie Lundeen Ely, to death.

While you don't actually see Cameron get shot to death, the video rolls from the hood of a police cruiser through the whole incident. You hear a deputy clearly order Cameron to keep his hands up before dozens of gunshots ring out.

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Another deputy then says there's a gun under Cameron -- but cops later concluded Cameron was unarmed -- and only faked having a weapon.

As we reported ... police rushed to Ron's Hope Ranch property after Cameron called 911 at some point after killing his mom. The operator said Cameron was crying and out of breath.

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Ron, who played "Tarzan" on the 1960s TV series, was not hurt during the incident and there's no mention of him in the police footage.

Lil Bub Final Resting Space ... Owner Wants To Send Me Into Orbit

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Lil Bub's remains will soon be orbiting the Earth in a satellite ... at least, that's what the late celebrity cat's owner envisions for her final resting place.

Lil Bub's caretaker, Mike Bridavsky, tells TMZ ... he's planning to load the feline's cremated remains into a satellite and launch it into orbit so Bub can watch over the planet, and he's working with Purdue University to get his spacey idea off the ground.

As we reported ... Lil Bub died in her sleep earlier this week, leaving behind a lasting legacy which includes raising over $700,000 for animals and pets in need.

Bub's human says he wants to link her satellite to a website so people can track the cat's location over Earth, and he even hopes to install a live feed on the craft so people can see Bub watching over them. Yes, it's hard to let go.

The cat's caretaker also wants to keep Bub's fundraising efforts alive ... by allowing people to sign up to have a designated amount of money withdrawn from their bank accounts every time Lil Bub completes a rotation around the Earth, with the funds benefiting homeless pets and veterinary research.

Lil Bub's owner tells us he realizes this is a wild idea, but he says he's been talking with Purdue about partnering on the project. The university's Small Animal Hospital was Bub's clinic for emergency care, and Purdue has an aerospace program.

FYI, the aerospace program is already involved in commercial satellite programs and with the International Space Station ... so Bub would be piggybacking off of those.

Of course, blasting a cat's remains into orbit ain't gonna be cheap ... and Lil Bub's owner says he's trying to work something out with Purdue for funding, or he's just gonna start a GoFundMe.

As for saying goodbye to Lil Bub back on solid ground ... we're told there are no plans yet for a memorial.

Casey Kasem Wrongful Death Suit Settled ... Family Rift Remains

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The legal battle between Casey Kasem's children and his widow, Jean Kasem, is finally over -- they've reached a settlement, but not everyone in the family's happy.

Casey's children filed docs requesting dismissal of their wrongful death suit against Jean. The court's signed off on the dismissal this week -- and a source connected to Casey's daughter, Kerri Kasem, tells us both sides agreed on a settlement.

However, we're told Kerri's upset about how it all came to an end. We're told she's "distraught and heartbroken" because she feels her sister and brother and 2 attorneys forced the settlement on her.

You'll recall ... Kerri, Julie and Mike Kasem sued Jean back in 2015, claiming she'd caused their father's death as a result of allegedly blocking him from seeing his kids before he passed. They also claimed she'd been abusing him while he suffered from dementia.

The children were accused of conspiring to kill him, but they were ultimately cleared of that ... with authorities calling BS.

Jean herself also dodged criminal charges for the same allegation, but the kids went after her in civil court ... and the case had dragged on for the past 4 years.

Casey -- the legendary radio DJ -- died in June 2014 from a combination of sepsis, UTI and a staph infection ... something the children claimed was exacerbated by an unattended bedsore Jean allegedly neglected.

George Atkinson III Ex-Notre Dame RB Dead At 27 ... 1 Year After Twin Brother's Suicide

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Ex-Notre Dame RB George Atkinson III -- son of former Super Bowl champ George Atkinson II -- died on Monday ... less than 1 year after his twin brother committed suicide.

It's unclear how the 27-year-old passed ... but the former NFL player said losing his brother, Josh, last December took a serious toll on him.

In a letter penned by Atkinson III in October ... he said Josh's death put him "on an emotional roller coaster and in a real dark place."

Atkinson III admitted he attempted to "harm himself" shortly after the death and had to be institutionalized ... but said his 2-year-old daughter was keeping him going.

"Without my daughter," Atkinson III wrote, "I don’t know where I would be right now. She gave me that second wind of motivation."

Atkinson III was a top recruit in the country coming out of high school in 2011 ... and was a stud for Notre Dame from '11 to '13 -- scoring 10 career TDs.

He went on to play two seasons in the NFL, one for the Raiders and one for the Browns ... and scored a memorable preseason TD in 2016.

Atkinson III's father was a star returner and defensive back for the Raiders, making two Pro Bowls and helping Oakland win Super Bowl XI over the Minnesota Vikings.

RIP

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please get help. Here's a link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Lil Bub Dead At 8 ... Fresh Outta Lives

The world is a little less bubbly ... because the famous cat with a sparkling personality and super cute looks has sadly taken her last breath.

Internet sensation Lil Bub -- a kitten-size cat with 2.3 million Instagram followers, an album, a book, a stage production and a talk show -- died Sunday, according to her owners, Mike and Stacy Bridavsky, who say Lil Bub "unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep."

Lil Bub had been battling health problems ... including what her humans say was a persistent and aggressive bone infection. Still, they weren't expecting her to die so suddenly and without warning.

LB was a major influencer with people and pets. The cat with an extra toe on each of her paws and osteopetrosis started the first national fund for special needs pets, and was the subject of groundbreaking biological and genetic research, helping raise over $700,000 for animals in need.

Not that she did it for fame, but Lil Bub did rub elbows with human celebs from time to time -- such as Robert DeNiro at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.

She even had a famous bloodline ... scientists say she was related to Ernest Hemingway's six-toed cats.

Fun-ish feline fact: The first 2 cat years are roughly equivalent to 25 human years, after which each year equates to 4 human years. So, by our standards, Lil Bub lived to become a middle-aged woman of 49.

RIP