US & Canada

XXXTentacion fans queue to pay respects at Florida service

Fans mourn after exiting the XXXTentacion memorial service at the Florida Panther's Stadium, 27 June 2018 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fans mourn the death of musician XXXTentacion at a service in Florida

Thousands of XXXTentacion fans queued for hours to pay their respects to the murdered rapper at a memorial service held in the US state of Florida.

The 20-year-old rising star, who was shot dead outside a motorcycle dealership last week, was laid out in an open casket surrounded by black roses at the Florida Panther's Stadium.

Video clips and songs were played to the crowds as they entered the venue.

The US rapper is believed to have been the victim of an armed robbery.

Many of those who attended Wednesday's service for XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, consoled one another under the spotlights at the 20,000-capacity stadium.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Thousands were said to have queued to enter the 20,000-capacity stadium
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption XXXTentacion developed a large following on SoundCloud before producing two hit albums

Friends and family joined fans as they gathered in a roped-off area wearing black T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Bad" on the front and "No more pain" on the back, according to the Associated Press (AP) news agency.

One fan, who identified himself as Choice Bison, told AP that XXXTentacion represented hope and energy.

"What was his gift? Fearlessness. Fearlessness," Mr Bison said, adding: "He just had a beautiful ability to not care what anybody was saying, to not care what anybody was thinking and give us his authentic self."

Others took to Twitter to post messages and pictures. One fan posted some time-lapse footage of the long queues of people waiting to enter the arena.

Often described as one of rap's most controversial artists, XXXTentacion quickly rose to fame with two hit albums - 17 and ?, both of which have re-entered the US charts since his murder.

He was facing domestic violence charges at the time of his death.

Police arrested a suspect in connection with the case last week.

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