Celebs who died young

These actors, musicians, and public figures passed away before their time

#43 The Notorious B.I.G.

Celebs who died young 1
Credit: InSapphoWeTrust / Wikimedia Commons

Born: May 21st, 1972

Died: March 9th, 1997

Age at death: 24

Cause of death: Drive-by homicide (gunshot wounds)

After attending a Soul Train Music Awards after-party, the truck carrying The Notorious B.I.G. (real name Christopher George Latore Wallace) was fired at. When Wallace’s truck stopped at a red light 46 meters from the Petersen Automotive Museum, a black Chevy Impala pulled up alongside it. The Impala’s driver, an unidentified African-American man dressed in a blue suit and bow tie, rolled down his window, drew a 9 mm blue-steel pistol, and fired at Wallace’s car. Four bullets hit Wallace.

The rapper’s entourage rushed him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where doctors performed an emergency thoracotomy, but he was pronounced dead shortly after. Released 15 years after his death, his autopsy showed that only the final shot was fatal. It entered through his right hip and struck his colon, liver, heart, and left lung before stopping in his left shoulder.

Considered as one of the greatest rappers of all time, Wallace became known for his distinctive laidback lyrical delivery, offsetting the lyrics’ often grim content. His songs were usually semi-autobiographical and were about hardship and criminality, with recurring themes of debauchery and celebration. Some of his most popular songs include Juicy, Hypnotize, Big Poppa, and Mo Money Mo Problems.

Interesting facts about BTS
  • The group name, “BTS” stands for the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan which translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. Band member J-Hope said that they chose this name because it represents BTS’s desire “to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim on adolescents like bullets.” But that isn’t the only meaning behind the name. In 2017, BTS said, as part of their new brand identity, that their name would also stand for Beyond the Scene” which extended their name to mean “growing youth BTS who is going beyond the realities they are facing, and going forward.”
  • BTS was originally intended to be a hip-hop group, similar to YG Entertainment’s 1TYM. This was because Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si-hyuk met with RM and was very impressed by his rapping talents. However, Bang Si-hyuk changed his mind and decided that today’s youth needed “a hero who can lend them a shoulder to lean on, even without speaking a single word.”
  • BTS has said that all of the following musicians have inspired their music; Post Malone, Eminem, Seo Taiji and Boys, Nas, Kanye West, Drake, Charlie Puth, Danger, and Queen.
  • The band’s first English-language single, “Dynamite”, was released on August 21st. Its video broke the YouTube record for the most viewed music video premiere, grabbing the attention of three million viewers, and it set a new record for the most viewed video on the first day of release. “Dynamite” is also the first music video on YouTube to surpass 100 million views in less than one day.
  • BTS has been often labeled as “easily the biggest and most successful name in K-pop in the world” that can “do things no other name in their genre can.” Time magazine has gone as far as calling them the “Princes of Pop.”