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Seminal hip hop star Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a. Biggie, a.k.a. Big Poppa, a.k.a. Christopher Wallace, was slain 15 years ago this weekend.

His murder, by drive-by shooting, remains unsolved.

Biggie was shot and killed outside the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997, leaving a legacy rivaled by few artists of any genre.

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The Notorious B.I.G. (May 21, 1972-March 9, 1997).

When B.I.G. released his debut album Ready to Die in 1994, he became a key figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene at a time when the movement was seeded.

His double-disc set Life After Death, released 15 days after he died, hit #1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond (10 million copies sold) in 2000.

He has influenced artists such as Diddy, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Alicia Keys, Fat Joe, Nelly, Ja Rule, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Game, Clinton Sparks, Usher and many others.