DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Troubled rapper-singer XXXTentacion was shot and killed Monday in Florida in what police called an apparent robbery attempt, authorities said.
The 20-year-old rising star, whose real name is Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was pronounced dead Monday evening at a Fort Lauderdale-area hospital, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. He was shot earlier Monday outside a Deerfield Beach motorcycle dealership.
XXXTentacion had been at RIVA Motorsports checking out inventory, the sheriff’s office said. He was in his black vehicle and preparing to leave when two armed suspects approached him. At least one of them fired, and then both suspects fled the scene in a dark-colored SUV. Investigators don’t have a motive, and no arrests have been made.
Stephanie Martinez, a 29-year-old mother who lives in the neighbourhood, was just coming back from the pool with her kids when she heard three shots. She drove to the end of the street and saw the rapper’s body in the car.
“He has his mouth open and his hand out. Two people went over and checked his pulse,” said Martinez, who also saw blood. “It’s just weird because he should’ve had security and stuff with him.”
XXXTentacion was a rising star and notched a No. 1 album last month with his sophomore effort “?” and had a top 10 hit with “Sad!” but was facing trial on charges that he beat up his pregnant girlfriend.
XXXTentacion racked up huge streaming numbers — on Spotify, his “Sad!” had more than 270 million streams and was on its Top 50 chart this week in the United States and globally. He also has several songs that have been declared platinum, including “Changes,” ”Roll in Peace” with fellow rapper Kodak Black and “Look at Me!”
But much of his brief career has been mired in controversy. In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion for a 2015 incident, and less than a month later was arrested on charges that he attacked his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time, and was jailed, and later faced more charges including witness tampering.
He was released from jail on house arrest late last year and was released from house arrest earlier this year to allow him to tour. His album “?” was released in March and went to No. 1.
XXXTentacion was initially one of two artists Spotify removed from its promoted playlists in May in accordance with its new policy on hateful music and conduct. But after a backlash in the music industry, Spotify backpedaled and said it would no longer attempt to police conduct and restored XXXTentacion to its playlists (although they did not do the same for R. Kelly).