Full Name: Christopher Wallace
Why Famous: Born Christopher Wallace in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York The Notorious BIG was a pioneering gangsta rapper famous for his rivalry with West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur who was shot and killed a mere six months after Tupac himself.
After a youth spent dealing in drugs and performing under the name 'Biggie Smalls', Wallace was signed by Sean Combs to Uptown Records and later followed him to Combs' own label Bad Boy. In 1993 he made his recording debut on Mary J. Blige's "Real Love" remix, releasing his debut album "Ready to Die" in September 1994. The album was a major success selling over four million copies and spawned a number of successful singles.
After West Coast rap star Tupac Shakur was shot and robbed in November 1994, Shakur, who survived, accused Combs and Wallace of planning the attack. This initiated a heated rivalry between the West and East coast rappers and the two artists continued to taunt each other through their music.
Run-ins with the law followed before Skaur was murdered in 1995 in a drive-by shooting in Los Vegas. Wallace's own death followed in March 1997 when he was shot in a car leaving a party in Los Angeles. The case remains unsolved with a number of documentaries and books suggesting various theories.
Wallace's second album "Life After Death" was released posthumously not long after as planned. It was major success and Wallace became the first artist to achieve two No. 1 pop hits posthumously for "Hypnotize" and "Mo Money, Mo Problems". Combs, now called "Puff Daddy" and Wallace's wife Faith Evans later recorded the single "I'll be Missing You" in memory which went on to win a Grammy and become one of the best-selling singles of the year.
- 1994-08-04 American rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (22) weds singer Faith Evans
- 1994-09-13 "Ready To Die" debut studio album by The Notorious B.I.G. released
- 1997-03-25 "Life After Death" 2nd studio album by The Notorious B.I.G. is released (Billboard Song of the Year 1997)