When Christopher Wallace reinvented himself as the Notorious B.I.G., he became one of the most popular rappers of the 1990s. We remember Wallace’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
When Christopher Wallace reinvented himself as the Notorious B.I.G., he became one of the most popular rappers of the 1990s. He was one of the key members of the East Coast hip-hop scene and helped define that scene with hit singles including “Big Poppa” and “One More Chance.” He worked with Jay-Z, Michael Jackson, Sean Combs and many other top artists, and he influenced a generation of young rappers. We remember Wallace’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Clyde Lovellette, U.S. Basketball Hall of Fame center who won an NCAA title at Kansas and was a three-time NBA champion, dies at 86.
2016: Robert Horton, U.S. actor who starred on television westerns including “Wagon Train,” dies at 91.
2012: Selma Rubin, U.S. environmental activist who is considered to be a co-founder of Earth Day, dies at 96.
2012: Peter Bergman, U.S. comedian known best as a member of the Firesign Theatre, dies at 72.
2011: David Broder, U.S. journalist who wrote for The Washington Post for more than 40 years, dies at 81.
For decades, Broder set the standard for political coverage by seeing trends ahead of his competitors and by explaining how shifts in voters’ moods and concerns forced politicians to adapt nimbly or falter. Long after he was famous, he did tiring, shoe-leather reporting, including knocking on doors in bellwether precincts to discern voters’ attitudes. Read more
2007: Brad Delp, U.S. rock singer known best as the frontman for the band Boston, commits suicide at 55.
If you’ve ever listened to classic rock radio, you’ve almost certainly heard Boston – a lot. Though they released just two albums during the 1970s, they’re in the top tier of classic rock bands, and the 16 songs from those albums are in near-constant rotation on the many stations that play the giants of ’70s rock. At the forefront of it all was Delp, with a powerful voice, awesome range and tendency toward seriously dramatic vocal noodling. He was part of the band from the beginning, and his vocal style was as much a signature of the band as their great riffs and sing-along-able choruses. Read more
2005: Chris LeDoux, U.S. country music singer and rodeo champion who sold more than 6 million records, dies at 56.
LeDoux, known little outside the rodeo circuit until country superstar Garth Brooks paid tribute to him in a song, described his music as a combination of “Western soul, sagebrush blues, cowboy folk and rodeo rock ‘n’ roll.” He and Brooks teamed up for the Top 10 hit, “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy,” in 1992. Read more
2004: Rust Epique, U.S. musician who was the guitarist for the band Crazy Town, who had a hit song with “Butterfly” in 2001, dies at 36.
1997: The Notorious B.I.G., aka Christopher Wallace, U.S. rapper who won the Billboard Award for best rap artist in 1995, is killed in a drive-by shooting at 24.
Burns once said, “The happiest people I know are the ones that are still working. The saddest are the ones who are retired.” And he kept himself happy nearly all his life; his final feature film role was performed when he was 98. Read more
1994: Lawrence E. Spivak, U.S. journalist who was a co-founder and host of Meet the Press for 28 years, dies at 93.
1994: Fernando Rey, Spanish actor who appeared in movies in Europe and the United States, including The French Connection, dies at 76.
1994: Charles Bukowski, U.S. author and poet whose works include Factotum and Pulp, dies of leukemia at 73.
1993: Bob Crosby, U.S. singer and leader of his jazz band, the Bob-Cats, who had his own TV show in the 1950s and was the brother of Bing Crosby, dies at 79.
1992: Menachem Begin, Israeli politician who was the sixth prime minister of Israel and who signed the peace treaty with Egypt’s Anwar Sadat in 1979, dies at 78.
1989: Robert Mapplethorpe, U.S. photographer whose well-known works stoked plenty of debate, dies of AIDS at 42.
1983: Faye Emerson, U.S. actress who hosted her own talk show and appeared on so many talk and game shows like I’ve Got a Secret that she was known as the First Lady of Television, dies of cancer at 65.
1969: Richard Crane, U.S. actor who had the starring role on the TV series Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, dies at 50.
1955: Matthew A. Henson, first African-American Arctic explorer, who was a close associate of Robert Peary on his explorations of the Arctic and a member of his party that reached the North Pole, dies at 88.