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Notorious B.I.G. Biography


Home > Music > N > Notorious B.I.G. > Biography


Birth Name: Christopher George Latore Wallace
Born: 1972/05/21
Birth Place: Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Died: 1997/03/09
Years Active: 1992–1997
Genres: Hip Hop


Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), better known by his stage names The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie or Biggie Smalls, was an American rapper.

Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. When Wallace released his debut album “Ready to Die” in 1994, he became a central figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene and increased New York's visibility at a time when West Coast artists were more common in the mainstream. “Ready to Die” was his only studio album released during his lifetime. It peaked at #15 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and reached #3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

"Juicy" was released as the lead single in August 1994. It peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, #14 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart and reached #3 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. It sold over 500,000 copies and the RIAA certified it gold in November 1994. "Big Poppa" was released as the second single in February 1995 and like the previous single, it was a hit on multiple charts. It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, #4 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart and #1 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. It sold over one million units and the RIAA certified it platinum in May 1995. The song was nominated at the 1996 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Solo Performance. "One More Chance" was released as the third single in June 1995 and peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop and Hot Rap Singles charts. It sold over one million copies and the RIAA certified it platinum in July 1995.

The following year, Wallace led his childhood friends to chart success through his protégé group, Junior M.A.F.I.A.. While recording his second album, Wallace was heavily involved in the East Coast/West Coast hip-hop feud, dominating the scene at the time.

On March 9, 1997, Wallace was killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. His double-disc set “Life After Death,” released 16 days later, rose to #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and was certified diamond in 2000, one of the few hip hop albums to receive this certification. The album featured collaborations with guest artists such as 112, JAY Z, Lil Kim, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Too $hort, Carl Thomas, Run-DMC, Total, R. Kelly, The LOX, Kelly Price and Puff Daddy. The album was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1998, including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance for its first single “Hypnotize” and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for its second single “Mo Money Mo Problems.”

The posthumously released albums, 1999’s “Born Again” and 2005’s “Duets: The Final Chapter” featured recordings Wallace made prior to his murder. “Born Again” topped the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.