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10 Famous musicians who were killed or murdered in their prime

10. Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Age at death: 35 (1968 – 2004)
Record label: Loud, Elektra, Warner, Roc-A-Fella
On November 13, 2004, 48 hours before his 36th birthday, Ol’ Dirty Bastard collapsed at RZA’s recording studio around 4:35 p.m. (EST) (36 Chambers Records LLC on West 34th Street in New York City). His funeral attracted tens of thousands of people to Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center.
An autopsy revealed a fatal cocktail of cocaine and the prescription painkiller tramadol as the official cause of death. Witnesses reported Ol’ Dirty Bastard complained of chest trouble on the day he died, and the overdose was declared unintentional.
9. XXXTentacion

Age at Death:20 (1998 – 2018)
Record Label: Bad Vibes Forever, Empire, Capitol, Caroline
On the afternoon of June 18, 2018, Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, better known by his stage as XXXTentacion, was killed in a suspected robbery outside outside RIVA Motorsports, in Deerfield Beach, Florida at a high-end motorcycle and watercraft dealership. He was shot in the neck numerous times and was critically injured before being pronounced dead at 5:30 p.m.
Two armed men approached him, snatched his Louis Vuitton bag, which contained $ 50,000 in cash, and murdered him. Later, he was transported to Broward Health North Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A few days after his murder, the accused, Michael Boatwright, who fired the gun, Dedrick Devonshay, and a few others were caught and arrested. The perpetrators were charged with premeditated first-degree murder.
His funeral was arranged and attended by a large number of fans. A private funeral was also put together, with a number of well-known rappers in attendance. He was laid to rest in the Gardens of Boca Raton Memorial Park in Boca Raton, Florida.
8. Lisa ‘left eye’ Lopez

Age at death:30 (1971 – 2002)
Record Label: LaFace, Arista, Deathrow
According to her spokesman, Jay Marose, Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes, the fiesty rapper and singer-songwriter who was part of the multimillion-selling rhythm-and-blues group TLC, died in an automobile accident in Honduras on April 25th 2002.
The tragedy occurred in Roma, a renowned Caribbean holiday destination. Mr. Marose said Ms. Lopes, who was 30 years old and lived in Atlanta, had a condo in a Honduran community where African healing was performed. Ms. Lopes was driving a rented Mitsubishi sport utility vehicle when she lost control, he added. It swerved off the road and overturned numerous times, according to the police.
7. Proof (D12)

Johnny Nunez/Getty Images
Age at death: 32 (1973-2006)
Record label: Iron Fist Records/Shady Records
Proof, a D12 rapper and close friend of Eminem, was shot and killed early morning inside the 3C nightclub on Detroit’s famed Eight Mile. Proof, born Deshaun Holton, was pronounced dead shortly after 5 a.m. at Conner Creek Medical Center. He was 32 years old at the time.
At the age of 32, DeShaun Dupree Holton, aka P, Big Proof, Proof, or Derty Harry, died at 4.30 a.m. on April 11th. He’d been at the CCC club in Detroit that night, an after-hours hangout on a shady stretch of East 8 Mile Road, where he and a few buddies were playing pool after a night partying. During a game of pool, he got into a dispute with Keith Bender Jr, a 35-year-old Desert Storm veteran. An confrontation erupted, drawing the notice of Mario Etheridge, the club’s bouncer and Bender’s cousin. Both Bender and Proof were tragically shot within minutes: a bullet to the face took Bender’s life eight days later (the same morning that Proof was shot).
On the morning of April 11 2006, police were called to the location after allegations of shooting and violence at the event, which was open illegally after hours. A third man, a 35-year-old man who has not been identified, was also shot and is in severe condition.
Proof was one of Detroit’s most well-known MCs, and he knew fellow Detroit rapper Eminem before joining D12, Em’s rap group. Proof later appeared in Eminem’s successful biography, 8 Mile, and was a constant presence in the courtroom in 2001, when he was facing gun charges.
6. Aaliyah Houghton

Age at death: 22 (1979 – 2001)
Record label: Virgin Records
On August 25th 200120 a small Cessna plane carrying R&B megastar Aaliyah. It burst into flames shortly after takeoff from the Abaco Islands in Bahamas and Itall aboard were killed.
The R&B singer tragically died 20 years ago on 25 August 2001 at the age of 22 with eight other passengers after a plane destined for Miami crashed less than a minute after take-off from the Bahamas. The world has never seen someone so young and talented leave us too soon, but her legacy lives on through music as we remember this day each year with our favorite songs from her.
A small twin-engine plane was found to have exceeded its maximum weight limit by several hundred pounds.
The pilot of the doomed flight, who was not qualified to fly that aircraft was found with traces of alcohol and cochineal substances in his body.
5. Nipsey Hussle

Age at death: 33 (1985 – 2019)
Record label: All Money In; Atlantic; Cinematic; Epic
Nipsey Hussle, or Ermias Asghedom as he is better known now, grew up in the same Los Angeles neighborhood that produced Compton’s most notorious gangs. But despite being part of an infamous group himself-the Rollin’ 60’s. He became not only a successful entrepreneur/rapper but also causing major changes within his community both before AND after his death.
Nipsey’s killer has been identified as Eric Holder, a member of the same gang as Nipsey Hussle.
According to police, prosecutors, and witnesses, 29-year-old Holder shot and murdered the 33-year-old Hussle on March 31, 2019, after Nipsey calmly warned Holder he was getting a reputation for “snitching.”
He was arrested two days after the shooting and has since been indicted on counts of murder, attempted murder, and weapons charges. He is due to face a jury on January 5th, 2022, a Los Angeles County judge announced.
4. Jam Master Jay

Age at death: 37 (1965 – 2002)
Record label: JMJ Records
Jason Mizell, aka Jam Master Jay, was shot and murdered at a Queens recording studio on October 30, 2002, at the age of 37.
Two men have been charged in the nearly 19-year-old murder case of Jason Mizell, better known as Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC. A masked man shot the late DJ at his music studio in Queens, New York, in 2002.
Prosecutors say Mizell was murdered by associates in a “drug-related homicide” on Monday. After his death, the influential group he founded with Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniel disintegrated. Two of their most well-known songs include It’s Tricky and Aerosmith’s Walk This Way.
Mizell was allegedly murdered by Ronald Washington, 56, and Karl Jordan, 36, who were enraged that they had been left out of a drug deal, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
They’ve both been charged with murder and other felony offences while engaged in narcotics trafficking. Both entered not guilty pleas.
Officials alleged in a news briefing on Monday that Mizell had purchased around 10kg of cocaine in the months leading up to his murder, and that he had threatened to cut the suspects out of the profit. A murder plan was allegedly hatched as a result of the disagreement.
Mizell was assassinated while playing video games in his studio in Hollis, Queens, where he grew up and later mentored other budding rappers, on October 30, 2002.
Prosecutor Seth DuCharme stated, “They marched in and murdered him in cold blood,” adding that one of the men hugged Mizell before starting fire.
3. Pop Smoke

Pop Smoke. CREDIT: Getty

Age at death: 20 (1999 – 2020)

Record label: Republic Records

Bashar Barakah Jackson, known professionally as Pop Smoke, was a rising rap talent who’s signature sound he described as Brooklyn drill. Jackson was tragically murdered in a home invasion at a mansion in Hollywood rented from Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, the daughter of singer John Mellencamp and a member of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, “just 12 days after his early 2020 mixtape “Meet the Woo 2 ” debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200.
A CCTV footage showed at least four masked guys wearing hoodies breaking into the house just 10 minutes after the front doors were deadbolted shut. They allegedly did not activate the house alarm, making it simpler for the intruders to gain entry.
Possible cause of shooting could be that earlier in the day, Pop Smoke revealed the home’s address. He was holding up present bags, one of which had the address for the property on it. His mix tape debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 chart on Tuesday, which explains why he was given gift bags.
Pop was driveb to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood by ambulance, where he was declared dead.
The suspects have not been caught or identified as far as we are aware. It’s unclear whether Pop Smoke was aware of the shooters.

2. The Notorious B.I.G.

Photo: Clarence Davis/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Age at death: 24 (1972-1997)

Record label: Bad Boy Records

Christopher Wallace aka Biggie Smalls, commonly known as “The Notorious B.I.G.,” was a the most popular east coast rapper and the king of gangsta rap. On March 9, 1997, he was shot and died.
In the early hours of March 9, 1997, he was murdered. He had just left a Vibe magazine party at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles when it happened. As Biggie’s SUV sat at a red light with a bodyguard and Lil’ Cease inside, a car came up alongside it, and a shooter began fire. Biggie was brought to the hospital by his security, but it was too late.
Biggie Smalls’ assassination, like Tupac’s, has never been solved. Biggie, like Tupac, would release a posthumous double album, this time only a fortnight after his death. Bad Boy released his posthumous album. titled Life After Death on March 25, 1997.

1. Tupac Shakur


Age at death:25 (1971-1996)

Record label: Deathrow Records

Tupac Shakur, a rap and hip hop star who was arguably one of the most influential artists in modern history with Death Row records died aged 25 on September 13th 1996 after he is shot multiple times by unknown assailants while in through Las Vegas.
On November 30th 1994 Tupac was shot and seriously wounded during a robbery committed by two armed men in the lobby of Manhattan office building that housed recording studio where he worked on his third album Me Against The World (1995). For reasons that have been detailed extensively in a 2002 documentary by Nick Broomfield titled ‘Biggie and Tupac’, Shakur blamed the shooting on producer Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and rival rapper Christopher Wallace—a.k.a., “The Notorious B.I..G.” This accusations was the cause of an East Coast vs West coast feud which is still being talked about today.
On the day of the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon boxing contest in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996, Shakur and others in his entourage were caught on camera in the foyer of the MGM Grand hotel engaging in a violent scuffle with a man later identified as a member of the notorious Los Angeles-based Crips gang. Hours later, Shakur was a co-passenger in a car driven by Marian “Suge” Knight of Death Row Records when a white Cadillac drew up alongside them at a stoplight on Flamingo Road and began fire.
At least 12 shots were fired, four of which hit Shakur and one grazed Suge Knight in the head. Shakur’s life was spared that night by emergency surgery at University Medical Center, and physicians said his chances of recovery had improved in the days after. Tupac Shakur, died of his wounds on September 13, 1996.

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