Tupac Amaru Shakur (born Lesane Parish Crooks June 16, 1971 - September 13, 1996) was one of the top and most successful rappers as well as a talented actor who suffered a violent death when he was gunned down in his car following a Las Vegas boxing match. Tupac was the son of Black Panther party members, whose mother was imprisoned while pregnant with him. In his youth, Shakur studied acting with Harlem's 127th Street Ensemble and the acting and dance at the Baltimore School of Arts. While in Baltimore, he became involves in the rap movement and performed under the name MC New York. When his family relocated to the Oakland, California area, Tupac joined the hip-hop group Digital Underground and was featured on two of the group's recordings, "This Is an EP" and "Sons of the P." In 1991, Shakur went solo, performing as 2Pac releasing 2Pacalypse Now as his debut album. He had his first hit with Billboard's Hot Rap Single #3 "Brenda's Got a Baby." Tupac's second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z went platinum a while producing Billboard's #11 ""I Get Around" and #12 "Keep Ya Head Up." Shakur also made his film debut in Juice (1992), appeared in Poetic Justice (1993), opposite Janet Jackson and then played a drug dealer in the highly popular Above the Rim (1994). Sadly, during this time of Tupac's immense success, he also had run-ins with the law including a number of violent offenses including assault and a sexual assault claim. In 1992, Tupac was inadvertently involved in the shooting of a 6-year old boy when his gun accidentally discharged and then became a victim himself when he was mugged and shot five times in the lobby of the Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan. Early in 1995, Shakur was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison in his 1993 sexual assault case and he served eight months. Seemingly due to the violent, thug lifestyle, when Tupac released his third solo album, "Me Against the World" (1995), it debuted at #1 and earned critical acclaim for such songs as "Dear Mama." Undertones of his potential early death ran throughout the LP. In 1996, Tupac released two more LPs in All Eyez on Me (1996) and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (1996). The growing feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers during the mid-1990s culminated in Tupac's untimely death outside a boxing match in Las Vegas. He was only 25-years old and his killer has never been caught. Seven of Tupac Shakur's albums have been released posthumously and he continues to make millions each year nearly 20 years after his death.