ATLANTA — It was a sad and somber day for family, friends and fans of beloved rapper TakeOff, as thousands gathered inside Atlanta's State Farm Arena to celebrate a life that was taken far too soon.
Big-named artists from all over the music industry showed up to pay tribute, as the memorial featured performances from Justin Bieber, in addition to Atlanta's own Chloe Bailey performing alongside Yolonda Adams. Drake was also in attendance to observe and remember.
TakeOff, part of the Grammy Award-nominated trio Migos with uncle Quavo and cousin Offset, was shot and killed earlier this month outside a Houston bowling alley. A woman and another man were also hurt in the shooting. No arrests have been made.
Dozens of fans lined up early at the arena, home to the Atlanta Hawks, despite rainy weather. A massive sign outside was lit up with the rapper’s image.
Free tickets to the memorial service were available to Georgia residents, but State Farm Arena said well before Friday that the event had reached capacity and fans without tickets should not come downtown.
Organizers did not release a program ahead of the event or allow media inside. Several fans leaving the event confirmed Bieber and Drake's presence and said Offset and Quavo also spoke during their relative's memorial.
One attendee said that TakeOff's mom, his record label, Drake, and of course the two remaining Migos members shared heartfelt memories. Others that were a part of his personal life and career also paid their final respects.
Outside of the arena, fans also honored the rapper by recalling the times they met him, went to a concert or even named their favorite songs.
"TakeOff and the Migos have been such an inspiration to other artists," one fan outside the arena said. "They changed the face of the game and to have TakeOff no longer be with us at 28 years old, the youngest member of the group is extremely devastating and it’s almost unbelievable."
TakeOff, a Lawrenceville native, was part of the breakout Migos had nearly a decade ago with the 2013 hit “Versace,” which hit even greater heights in popularity through a Drake remix. The trio was largely raised by TakeOff's mother in the Atlanta suburb.
As much as fans said they're hurting, they know the pain his family is feeling is forever.
"And when they leave that funeral they’re not going to think about TakeOff. They may play his music but his family is going to have to live with that forever and it’s going to leave an indelible imprint on their heart," another fan stated.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made to The Rocket Foundation, an organization recently created with the goal to create community-based solutions to gun violence.