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4 Books About 4 Deceased R&B Legends Who Defined Our Teenage Years in the 90's: Tupac Shakur, Aaliyah, Notorious B.I.G, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes

This is for all us 80's-born kids who were shaped by the great R&B artists and rappers of the 90's. For all of us who feel deep nostalgia when one of their songs hits a speaker. This is for all of us who can never imagine our teenage years without Tupac, Aaliyah, Biggie, or "Left Eye" (i.e. TLC).

These four artists were legends in their own way. They also each died tragically and way too soon - all before the age of 30. Tupac was murdered (age 25) by on September 7, 1996 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Aaliyah was killed (age 22) on August 25, 2001 when a small Cessna passenger plane carrying the singer and her video crew crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from an island in the Bahamas. The Notorious B.I.G was shot (age 24) on March 9, 1997 in Los Angeles, also in a drive-by shooting, and died one hour later. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes died (age 30) in a tragic car accident on April 25, 2002 in Honduras when the car swerved to avoid a truck.

Maybe it's because I've hit my 30's that I feel so nostalgic about my teenage years; a rearview perspective that you only appreciate when you're decades away. These artists definitely shaped me, and in a weird way, I feel I owe it to myself to know more about them. I haven't read any of these books yet, but I put this list together to have a starting point. If you feel the same in any way then join me on this emotionally-evoking return to our teenage past.

Tupac Shakur

In 1996 Tupac Shakur, one of the most talented artists of his time, was murdered by an unknown gunman. Fred L. Johnson and Tayannah Lee McQuillar examine the theories surrounding his death and the story of Tupac's lost legacy in this definitive biography. For millions, Shakur gave voice to their stories, but there was also another side to him, revealed as his life spun out of control, as the whispered warnings from friends went unheeded and the denunciations of critics grew louder. Disturbingly, he sang and wrote about his impending death. 


In this biography of Aaliyah, Tim Footman tells the story her short life. By age 15, Aaliyah had her first No. 1 hit and had become involved with her mentor, R&B producer R Kelly. A series of award winning hit albums and singles followed, including the album One In A Million, which went platinum, and the single Try Again, for which she won a Grammy. The events leading to her death in 2001 are also covered, plus the subsequent impact of this loss on her fans and the music industry. Aaliyah’s aura of mystery and her iconic status are discussed throughout the book. (less)

The Notorious B.I.G.

Biggie Smalls, also known as The Notorious B.I.G., is considered one of the most influential rappers of all time, a credit continually given by numerous hip-hop artists. But with the success came controversy: the friendship-turned-feud between Biggie and Tupac fueled the rivalry between East Coast and West Coast hip hop, a gangsta-rap battle that many believe led to the murder of both rappers. While still unsolved, the murder of Biggie in 1997 sparked numerous investigations, litigation, and the dismantling of a Los Angeles Police Department task force in what is considered the largest scandal in LAPD history. 

United in Death by Car Crash

United in Death is a series that showcase celebrities who may not have crossed paths when they were alive but unfortunately met a similar death. This book discusses the deaths of car driver Ayrton Senna and singer Lisa Left Eye Lopes (from the band TLC). Rediscover the lives and careers of two stars gone too soon.

// WORK: // Content marketer, former advertiser at J. Walter Thomson, Co-founder and Head of Editorial Department at Raghunter, and Marketing Manager at Bookwitty. // CITIES: // New York - London ... Show More


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