by Corinne Heller | Sun., Mar. 3, 2019 9:52 AM
Janice Freeman, who competed on season 13 of NBC's The Voice in 2017, has died at age 33.
The singer, a married mother of one who was on coach Miley Cyrus's team and reached the top 11 on the singing contest series, passed away on Saturday due to combined complications of lupus and a bronchial infection, Freeman's rep told E! News in a statement.
She is survived by her husband Dion, her 12-year-old daughter Hannah, her mother Janice, brothers and sisters, and many extended family. Her cousin, Johanna Freeman, later confirmed and mourned her death on Instagram.
"On Saturday afternoon, Janice began complaining that she couldn't breathe properly and, in a matter of minutes, required CPR from her husband," her rep said. "He called 911, continuing to do CPR until paramedics arrived. While Janice arrived at the hospital alive, continued efforts could not save her. Doctors believe a blood clot had formed in her lungs, which led to her quick demise. Janice Freeman died at 5:30 p.m. PST."
On Sunday, The Voice's official Instagram account posted a short note about her death. "Janice Freeman was an inspiration," it read. "Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time."
Freeman, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, had battled many health issues through her life. She beat cervical cancer and lived with two autoimmune diseases, lupus and Sjogren's syndrome. She also survived the bacterial infection meningococcal meningitis as a teen and kidney failure as a child.
"She struggled every single day," her husband said in a statement. "She was constantly in pain—literally, for years—but was sure she would conquer it all. She just kept on fighting."
Janice Freeman's management team
Memorial plans have not yet been announced.
Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
"She was a survivor and fighter, and a beautiful force in this world," read a statement from Freeman's management team. "Her story inspired fans nationwide, having successfully battled cervical cancer and living her life to the fullest while fighting lupus."
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Words can not explain how much this pains me... Today out of all days would never be an option for you to leave. The day I met you we knew we were related, even if we couldn’t make the connection of how, we just believed it and it was so... To my beautiful cousin, I’m beyond hurting knowing that you’re gone... The last time we spoke you gave me so much life and encouragement even though you yourself needed the encouragement, you promised me that I was never alone and not only was our Heavenly Father present, that I had you as well... knowing you and having you apart of my life has been such a blessing to me. You taught me so much about who God wanted me to be and about embracing my gifts and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you for believing in me and pushing me to be the greatest artist, singer and woman I could be. I love you so much and my heart is broken just thinking of never seeing you again, at least on this side. So, my amazing Janice, I love you so much and I’m grateful that you always knew just that. Until we meet again my love... 💕💕🙏🏽🙏🏽💕🌼💕🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🌼 - - - #mysongbird #family #gonetoosoon #illmissyoualways #andforever
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Cyrus and fellow The Voice coach Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to Freeman on Instagram.
Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Cyrus posted on her Instagram Story a photo of a rainbow and writing, "Thank you @janicefreeman...for everything. This represents you perfectly."
Instagram / Miley Cyrus
Hudson posted on her Instagram page a video of Freeman performing Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" during the Voice's Blind Auditions.
"@janicefreeman the voice of hers we got to hear and the bit of life we got to watch her live was a blessing and inspiration to us all!" Hudson wrote. "My heart and prayers go out to @janicefreeman daughter and family ! @mileycyrus @nbcthevoice #ripjanicefreeman"
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@janicefreeman the voice of hers we got to hear and the bit of life we got to watch her live was a blessing and inspiration to us all! My heart and prayers go out to @janicefreeman daughter and family ! @mileycyrus @nbcthevoice #ripjanicefreeman
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Last month, Freeman posted on her Instagram page, "I want to give ALL praises to THE FATHER for this healing process! It has been a difficult, trying, discouraging, mentally draining, etc last 3 months I have had to deal with in a very long time! But God is FAITHFUL and HE is healing my body and I'm starting to see a little clearly again!... I'm so grateful and overwhelmed because HE loves me so in spite of me deserving it or not."
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I want to give ALL praises to THE FATHER for this healing process! It has been a difficult, trying, discouraging, mentally draining, etc last 3 months I have had to deal with in a very long time! But God is FAITHFUL and HE is healing my body and I'm starting to see a little clearly again!... I'm so grateful and overwhelmed becuase HE loves me so in spite of me deserving it or not.... I want to leave this message with you all... God loves you so much and He'll never walk away from you (you can walk away from Him). Thank you all so much for your continued prayers they have been keeping me! Remember you're awesome, amazing, there's only one you in this world..... ( You finish it!!!! ) I love you all
A post shared by Janice Freeman (@janicefreeman) on
She also talked about her health issues and competing on The Voice in an interview with RealHealth in 2018.
"I just wanted to be able to capitalize off this platform, walk away from this, live comfortably and do the things that I've been wanting to do since I was little, namely share my music and have it be successful in all the ways that matter," she said about the show. "I want to be able to inspire people because my heart's desire is for people to have hope."
She also talked about her daughter, whose father, her first husband, had died of cancer.
"There's been times where I wanted to give up, and I know why God gave her to me," Freeman said. "She's taught me so many things, and for her to see me fight again, for her to see that in spite of what her mom goes through, she still stands tall and she's always pushing, for her to see that nothing—from what color she is to being a woman—can stop her, that there's nothing that she can't accomplish. That means the world to me."