Friends and Family Honor Rapper Takeoff in Celebration of Life

A celebration of life, held at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena on Friday (Nov. 11), saw friends, fans, and family gather to say farewell to Takeoff.

Videos by American Songwriter

The arena was filled with fans and celebrities alike, joined together by a common thread – their love and respect for the late Migos rapper who was fatally shot earlier this month. Cardi B, Drake, Justin Bieber, as well as fellow-Migos artists, Quavo and Offset, were present to remember the 28-year-old artist’s short, but impactful, life and career.

Free tickets were available only to Georgia residents, however, the arena, which seats 21,000 people, had reportedly reached capacity well before the Friday afternoon service.

During the ceremony, rapper Drake spoke in remembrance of his friend. Bieber, Chloe Bailey, and Byron Cage performed in Memorium. The eulogy was delivered by Pastor Jesse Curney III of New Mercies Christian Church in Lilburn, Georgia. Atlanta’s mayor, Andre Dickens, also awarded the rapper’s family with the city’s highest honor, the Phoenix Award.

Shortly after the service, Offset’s wife, rap star Cardi B, took to social media in remembrance. “Takeoff your untimely passing has brought a great deal of pain and sorrow to so many lives,” she wrote in a post alongside a montage of photos. “The impact you had in this world was so considerable and we have struggled to grasp this tragedy. I am heartbroken but I am grateful for all the precious memories we got to share while you were here with us.

“This has truly been a nightmare and the pain is incomparable,” she continued. “The emptiness your brothers are feeling is unbearable and I pray that you give Offset, Quavo, and your friends and family the strength to keep going as they are trying to cope with this loss. I believe that angels send signs and beautiful dreams to loved ones to assure them that they’re watching them and they’re okay and happy…send your mom some of those 🙏🏽. As a Migos fan, it hurts me to look at pictures and videos of y’all together, and hearing y’all songs that changed the music industry and moved the culture, and had the clubs lit 🔥. It hurts because I know it will never be the same again—but I know your bros and y’all fans will make sure the world never forgets the impact you made. I will remember your remarkable talent and your dope ass personality. I pray that you are at peace and in paradise because you deserve every bit of it. I know God opened the heavenly gates for you with a warm embrace. Rest in power TakeOff 🚀💔I will also love you 4L & after.”

Takeoff, born Kirshnik Khari Ball, was shot and killed at a Houston, Texas bowling alley in the early morning hours of Nov. 1. Ruled a homicide, his death is currently under investigation and witnesses are being urged to come forward.

“We need all of y’all to send those to us so we can solve this case,” said Sgt. Michael Arrington at a press conference held the afternoon of the shooting. “We’re looking for anything to help us from there.”

Police Chief Troy Finner added: “Please step up, get the information to us so we can bring some closure to this family who’s hurting right now.”

Takeoff began rapping with his uncle, Quavo, and his cousin, Offset, in 2008 under the name Polo Club. In 2011, the trio released their debut mixtape as Migos. See the three discuss the gift of family in a Complex interview, below.

Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images

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