Popular singer and actress Yuli Rachmawati, better known as Julia Perez or Jupe, passed away at Cipto Mangunkusumo hospital in Jakarta on Saturday (10/06) after a months-long battle against cervical cancer.
Jupe, born in July 15, 1980, was one of Indonesia’s most recognizable dangdut singers and sex icons. Many, including her close family and friends, are dismayed by the news.
“At first, I didn’t believe that she would pass away, even last night many journalist friends asked about Jupe’s condition,” Jupe’s manager Markoneng said.
The cultural icon had undergone an urgent spinal surgery on Thursday.
Markoneng said Jupe’s mother called him on Saturday afternoon when the celebrity’s condition turned critical, prompting him to rush to the hospital where he learned his close friend and client passed away just minutes before.
Markoneng said Jupe’s family, including her mother, sisters and others were present when Jupe took her last breath.
“On behalf of Jupe, I wish all will forgive her for any wrongdoings and mistakes,” he said.
For many Indonesians, Jupe, who was previously married to Argentine soccer player Gaston Castaño before getting divorced in 2016, was an irreplaceable personality.
Achieving fame first through her dangdut songs and sexually charged performances, Jupe later starred in several local movies, including “Arwah Goyang Karawang” (“The Dancing Spirit of Karawang”), and widely popular soap operas, known as sinetron.
News of Jupe’s passing immediately received wide attention, including Jakarta Deputy Governor-elect Sandiaga “Sandy” S. Uno, who posted a tweet on his account.
“Inna lillahi wainna ilaihi roji’un. good bye myfriend @juliaperrezz. I remember the last time we visited [her], despite of pains she felt, she still made jokes and laugh. Me and [wife] @nurasiauno will miss the cheerfulness of mba (sister) Jupe,” Sandy wrote in his Instagram account.