WASANII KUMI WALIOFARIKI KABLA YA KUFIKISHA MIAKA 40 Notorious B.I.G. “It was all a dream…” which ended too soon for this ’90s hip-hop megastar. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Christopher George Latore Wallace was nicknamed “Biggie” by classmates, on account of his hefty size. Street crime and drug deals drifted him in and out of jail during his juvenile years, although he was rapping the whole time. In 1994, after collaborating with rappers such as LL Cool J, Biggie’s double A-side, “Juicy/Unbelievable” hit the pop charts at No. 27. At the time, an East Coast- West Coast rap feud was happening, and Notorious took the East Coast reigns with his No. 1 rap chart hit, “Big Poppa.” Many people wondered if he played a role in Tupac Shakur’s 1996 murder in Las Vegas. The following year on March 9, 1997, Notorious B.I.G. was killed in a drive-by shooting at a Los Angeles intersection. To this day, no suspects have been arrested in his murder. Notorious B.I.G. was 24 years old. Aaliyah Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born in Brooklyn in 1979, and raised in Detroit through her early years as a “Star Search” and “Family Matters” child star. Mentored by singer-producer R. Kelly, her album “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number” was released in 1994 when she was 14. Critically and commercially a hit, her second album “One in a Million” peaked on the Billboard 200 at No. 18 with hit singles such as “If your Girl only Knew.” Film roles in “Romeo Must Die” and “Queen of the Damned” brought her immense popularity. Two months before her death in July of 2001, her album “Aaliyah” opened to her strongest numbers. On Aug. 25 2001, the twin-engine Cessna she and eight others had boarded crashed after takeoff, killing everyone. She was 22. Her “Aaliyah” album shot to No. 1 the week after her death, and she won two posthumous American Music Awards for it. Otis Redding What a legend! Many don’t realize when they hear this crooner’s mature, experienced-sounding voice that he was only 26 when he died in a plane crash over Madison, Wisconsin. Born in 1941 in Dawson, Georgia, he died Dec. 10, 1967. Redding’s song “These Arms of Mine,” became an R&B hit in 1962. By 1965, he was topping the soul charts with songs such as “Respect” and “I Can’t Turn you Loose.” Days before he died, the single “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” was released and it became extremely popular in early 1968 and beyond. Cheers to the golden voice of Mr. Redding! Tami Terrell Born in 1945, this young lady rose up in the Motown world in her teens, performing with James Brown’s Revue for two years before signing with Motown’s Berry Gordy in 1965. The door she walked through led to Marvin Gaye and a song called “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough,” rocketing the two to the top of the radio charts. Subsequent duet hits including “Ain’t Nothing like the Real Thing” and “You’re all I Need” seemed to solidify the path for Gaye and Terrell. In 1967, while performing with Gaye at Hampton- Sydney College, she collapsed in his arms. Diagnosed with a brain tumor, she underwent a series of operations, only to succumb on March 16, 1970. Gaye was so anguished by her death at age 24, he gave up touring for three years. Robert Johnson Johnson was always like a ghost anyway, howling about the devil and his impending meeting with the reaper. His photographs haunt and his music lingers long after you hear it. He was only 27 when he died on Aug. 16, 1938. Here’s the legend: a young man named Robert Leroy Johnson lived on a southern plantation. Wanting so badly to be a blues singer, he went to the crossroads late one night and met the Devil, who took his guitar, played a few songs, and returned it to Johnson. The meeting imbued him with the power of the blues, but his soul was sold in the process. He became an itinerant delta blues king, recording hits along the way. Many scholars argue about the night Johnson died in Greenwood, Mississippi. Was he poisoned by the whiskey a married temptress gave him? That’s one theory. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Songs by the band TLC were played at every hour of every day on most radio stations during the early ’90s, especially “Waterfalls,” a cautionary song about AIDS. Lisa Lopes joined the band when she was 19. In 1992, the debut album “Ooooohhh…On the TLC Tip” sold 6 million copies, and TLC became an immediate hit. “CrazySexyCool” ws released in 1994, solidifying the band as one of the biggest-selling girl groups of all time. The media followed squabbles between the girls, including the infamous evening in 1994 where Lopes burned down her NFL boyfriend Andre Rison’s mansion, illuminating a darker side of her life. On April 25, 2002, Lopes swerved her Mitsubishi off a winding road in Honduras and was ejected from the car, dying of head trauma and neck injuries. Sam Cooke One of the pioneers of soul music, Sam Cooke had the sweetest voice there ever was. Born in Mississippi in 1931 to a Baptist minister (one of eight kids!), he stood up in the gospel music industry by becoming lead singer of the Soul Stirrers. After he released his first pop single, “Lovable,” in 1956, he was dropped by Specialty Records. But Cooke became a household name in the ’60s with hits such as “Twistin’ the Night Away,” “Wonderful World,” and “Another Saturday Night.” On Dec. 11, 1964, at the Hacienda Hotel in Los Angeles, Cooke was found nearly naked with a bullet to the heart. The hotel’s manager, Bertha Franklin, claimed that Cooke had attacked her and she shot him in self defense. A second woman, Elisa Boyer, surfaced after the homicide and said that Cooke had kidnapped and tried to rape her in the hotel, but she escaped. People who saw Cooke’s body claimed he had been so badly beaten, it’s questionable how he actually died. Bob Marley Born in 1945, Jamaican reggae singer- songwriter-guitarist Bob Marley was the son of a British naval officer and Jamaican mother Cedella. Moving to Trenchtown, Jamaica at age 12, he formed The Wailers in 1963 with four other musicians. Marley rocked the small island’s music scene with hit singles such as “Judge Not” and “Simmer Down.” Recording the eight- track album, “Catch a Fire,” in 1983 for London’s Island Records proved to be the elevator to international fame. Subsequent albums in the ’70s includedf “Exodus” and “Kaya.” Traveling back and forth from England to Jamaica, Marley performed multiple concerts promoting peace. In 1977, malignant melanoma was found under his toe. By May 11, 1981, the cancer had spread to his lung and brain. Marley died in a Miami hospital. He was 36. Tupac Shakur Tupac Amaru Shakur, aka 2Pac, is one of the biggest-selling names in any music genre, with more than 75 million albums sold worldwide. Born in 1971 in East Harlem to parents who were active in the Black Panther movement, he started recording rap clips with the group Digital Underground. His first underground solo album, “2Pacalypse Now,” was released to critical acclaim in 1991. Forming the group Thug Life in 1993, the album “Thug Life: Volume 1″ was released on Shakur’s label, Out Da Gutta Records. His solo career continued to flourish, and the 1994 album, “All Eyez on Me,” is considered a masterpiece of rap music. Film roles, including the popular drama “Poetic Justice” proved his versatility. On the night of Sept. 7, 1996, a car pulled up next to Shakur’s sedan at a Las Vegas intersection. Multiple bullets hit Shakur. He died Sept. 13 in his hospital bed. He was 25. Jimi Hendrix Perhaps the greatest electric guitarist in history, and a visionary of the ’60s psychedelic music scene, Hendrix was born in 1942 in Seattle, Washington. He started playing the electric guitar in various Seattle bands, displaying early talent. Following a stint in the U.S. Army, he kicked around the South, forming and dissolving bands and learning to play with his teeth. Touring with the Isley Brothers in the early ’60s and doing backup with Little Richard provided him with stage and TV appearances. It wasn’t until he went to London and formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience that things started to take off. Albums “Are you Experienced” and “Axis: Bold as Love” (both 1967) were followed with benchmark live performances at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock ’69. He died Sept. 18, 1970. The coroner’s report said Hendrix’s body was full of barbiturates. He was 27. His flair and fire live on. 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