More details have emerged about the tragic death of rapper/singer Lil Peep on Wednesday night (Nov. 15), with authorities saying he is believed to have died of an overdose of anxiety drug Xanax.
According to an Associated Press report, police in Tucson, Arizona, where Peep, 21 (born Gustav Ahr), was found dead on his tour bus around 9 p.m. local time ahead of a scheduled concert in the city at The Rock nightclub. Sgt. Pete Dugan said evidence pointed to an overdose of the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, although no official cause of death has been announced.
Ahr became a social media sensation thanks to a string of emotional songs often referenced drug use, depression and suicide, subjects the singer appeared to reference in a series of dark Instagram posts to his 1.2 million followers in the days leading up to his death. In one, he claimed to have consumed six Xanax, with another showing him trying to drop an unidentified pill into his mouth several times before successfully swallowing one and shaking a prescription bottle that appears full of pills. Another post featured the chilling caption “When I die, you’ll love me.”
He never made it to the show on his Come Over When You’re Sober tour on Wednesday night, but the event’s promoter, Ryan Lameyer of Phenomenon Concerts told The Arizona Republic that the rapper met with fans and took pictures in the hours before his death.
“You could tell he really cared about his music and his fans,” Lameyer told the paper. “Earlier in the day when the bus was unloading in to production, he went out and took photos with fans. The kid’s been touring heavily since April. It’s just been go, go, go doing shows throughout the country.” Lameyer had not returned requests for comment at press time.
In a Facebook post Lameyer joined the ranks of fellow musicians, fans and dance artists paying tribute to Peep and his musical legacy. “Last night was very upsetting and tragic. My heart goes out to everyone in Peeps family and camp,” he wrote. “This was an experience that will stick with me for a long time and definitely the most devastating moment of my career. I hope this will be the last time I am placed in such a horrible situation or be forced to inform someone about a friend or loved one’s passing for the first time, let alone in a public setting and with no place to grieve privately… We were fortunate to work with Peep multiple times and he was always such a nice kid and thankful for a place to perform. You could tell he cared deeply about his art and definitely always made time for his fans. Gone too soon.”
The rapper was reportedly found unresponsive on his bus an hour before his scheduled 9:45 p.m. set time, with EMS workers unsuccessful in their attempts to revive him, according to Lameyer. A spokesperson for the Pima County Medical Examiner’s office told Billboard that the chief medical examiner is planning to issue a statement about the rapper’s death, though no further information was available at press time. “He was just a genuinely good kid and it’s a terrible tragedy,” Lameyer told the Republic. “It’s a terrible thing to see people who loved and cared about him find he had passed and there wasn’t anything they could do. It’s something you’ll never forget.”
Inside the club, fans watched the opening acts, but “confusion” set in as they were moved out of the club after paramedics arrived. Sarah Stennett, CEO of First Access Entertainment, who partnered with Peep in early 2016, released a statement about his death.
“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.”