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1997 - Notorious B.I.G. Dies
1997 - Notorious B.I.G. Dies

Rapper Christopher George Latore Wallace, best known by his stage names Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, was killed in the early morning of March 9, 1997. He was 24 years old.

The rapper and his entourage had been attending a party at Los Angeles’ Petersen Automotive Museum after he had appeared at the Soul Train Awards.

The rapper was shot by an unknown assailant wearing a black suit and blue bow tie roughly 50 yards from the museum. According to Tod Benoit’s book “Where Are They Buried?” Wallace’s ashes were split between his mother, his wife and a girlfriend he also had at the time.

Biggie released only one album in his lifetime, 1994’s “Ready to Die.” It included such tracks as “Juicy” and “Big Poppa.” Biggie’s second album, “Life After Death,” was released a couple weeks after his death.

Biggie had been a central figure in the feud that erupted between East Coast and West Coast hip-hop scenes in the mid-1990s. He was booed by some audience members while presenting at the Soul Train Awards earlier on the night of his death. Along with the murder of rival and one-time friend Tupac Shakur, which took place the previous year, Biggie’s death became a symbol of the toll the gangsta lifestyle was taking on hip-hop.