USA TODAY - The music community is mourning the loss of rapper Lil Peep, who died at 21.
Sarah Stennett, CEO of First Access Entertainment which worked with the rapper in 2016, confirmed his death to USA TODAY.
“I am shocked and heartbroken," Stennett wrote. "I do not believe Peep wanted to die, this is so tragic. He had big goals and dreams for the future which he had shared with me, his team, his family and his friends. He was highly intelligent, hugely creative, massively charismatic, gentle and charming. He had huge ambition and his career was flourishing."
"I have spoken to his mother and she asked me to convey that she is very, very proud of him and everything he was able to achieve in his short life. She is truly grateful to the fans and the people who have supported and loved him.”
Born Gustav Åhr, Lil Peep amassed a cult following for his genre-melding of hip hop and emo music, and released his debut album Come Over When You’re Sober (Part One) in August 2017. His music often dealt with issues of mental illness, including a 2016 track OMFG about his suicidal tendencies.
“I suffer from depression and some days I wake up and I’m like, (expletive), I wish I didn’t wake up,” he told Pitchfork earlier this year. “I don’t express that side of myself on social media. That’s the side of myself that I express through music. That’s my channel for letting all that (expletive) out.”
In an Instagram video posted the day before his death, Åhr promotes an upcoming show in El Paso, Texas, claiming he took Xanax before saying, "I'm good, I'm not sick," before writing "When I die, you'll love me" in an additional post.
Åhr appeared in a V Magazine editorial shot by famed fashion photographer Mario Testino in September, claiming in the interview that his music saved his life. "I could be dead. (Expletive) could’ve turned out way different. The fact that I became Lil Peep helped all that. I know what could’ve happened, and this is a better alternative."
Musicians posted tributes to Åhr on social media following reports of his death, with Post Malone writing, "In the short time that I knew you, you were a great friend to me and a great person. Your music changed the world and it'll never be the same. I love you bud. Forever."
"Peep had so much more to do man he was constantly inspiring me," Diplo wrote. "I don't feel good man."
USA TODAY has contacted Lil Peep's representatives for comment.
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