Tupac Shakur, the slain rap legend, was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame on Wednesday, nearly three decades after he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting.
The celebration honored a rapper who died at the age of 25 following a brief but brilliant career in which he rose from backup dancer to self-proclaimed gangsta and one of hip-hop’s most influential characters.
“It fills my heart with honor to stand here today representing the Shakur family,” said Shakur’s sister Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur at the unveiling in Los Angeles.
“Tupac knew deep down that he was always meant for something great. And as his little sister, I had the privilege to watch that greatness unfold.”
Shakur, known for his emotionally charged lyrics and on-stage antics, sold over 75 million records, with singles including “California Love” and “Changes.”
Shakur also became a pivotal character in a much-publicized rivalry between East and West Coast hip-hop, which was fueled by promoters.
Shakur was born in New York but went to California as a youngster with his family. He became one of the most recognizable figures in the West Coast scene before being killed in Las Vegas in September 1996.
The circumstances surrounding Shakur’s death remain unknown. The event on Wednesday happened nine days before his 52nd birthday.
Shakur’s identify as a gangsta rapper emerged near the conclusion of his brief life, when he had multiple brushes with violence and was imprisoned on sexual assault charges.
However, Shakur, whose mother Afeni was a member of the Black Panther Party and named him after Tupac Amaru, a revolutionary Inca king, utilized his lyrics to address issues affecting Black Americans, ranging from police brutality to mass incarceration.
Shakur and his mother are the subjects of the television documentary series “Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur.” Director Allen Hughes and producer Jamal Joseph were among those attending Wednesday’s ceremony.