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The Notorious B.I.G.

Christopher Wallace (May 21, 1972 - March 9, 1997), also known as Biggie Smalls but best known as The Notorious B.I.G., was a Brooklyn-born rapper in the mid 1990s.

He first gained notice for working with Mary J. Blige on What's the 411, then released Ready to Die, his debut album, in 1995. The next year, One More Chance debuted at #5 on the Pop Charts, tying Scream/Childhood as the highest debut single in music history. Ready to Die brought massive fame to Biggie, and he soon became involved in a heated feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers. Specifically, Biggie was a rival of Tupac Shakur, a Los Angeles rapper. Tupac was murdered in Las Vegas while Biggie was working on his second album. Rumors of a possible Biggie involvement in the murder cropped up almost immediately. On March 9, 1997, Biggie was shot and killed in Los Angeles. Neither murder has ever been solved and at present no-one has ever been charged in connection to them.

Life After Death, Biggie's second album, was released posthumously and debuted at #1 on the charts. Born Again (1999) was also released posthumously. It had a hit single with "Notorious B.I.G." which was a tribute song to the slain rapper, featuring guest raps from Biggie's friends, Lil Kim and P. Diddy. The video for the song also featured appearances by 98 Degress and Fat Joe. In addition to this tribute, Puff Daddy released a massively successful single dedicated to Biggie called "I'll Be Missing You," which featured Puff Daddy, Wallace's widow Faith Evans and R+B group 112, and sampled the melody of The Police's hit song "Every Breath You Take." All these artists performed the song with (former Police vocalist) Sting during the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards

Biggie's biggest chart hit was with the song "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems," an upbeat number featuring rappers Mase and Puff Daddy, and sampling the disco song "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross for the beat.