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Gun violence is one of the leading causes of death on an annual basis, resulting in tens of thousands of lives lost every year as a result of either suicide or homicide. In 2018 alone, the 38,390 deaths from firearm violence broke down to 51% being a result of self-inflicted and 74% being homicides involving firearms. Sadly, some of our favorite public figures are included in that latter group of victims that died as a result of fatal shootings.
1. Marvin Gaye (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984)
Dying on the eve of his 45th birthday was sad enough, but the assailant being Marvin Gaye’s own father really made his loss feel ten-times more heartbreaking.
2. Big L (May 30, 1974 – February 15, 1999)
The fame that guys like Cam’Ron, Ma$e and even on some levels Jay-Z enjoyed during their respective peaks is definitely owed to Big L not getting the chance to serve up some serious competition. Thankfully L’s memory is always help up as the icon he would’ve been.
3. XXXtentacion (January 23, 1998 – June 18, 2018)
Living a fast life that ended on a controversial note in more ways than one, XXXtentacion’s loss is a painful one to grasp because he was so young when it happened. At 20, he should’ve had so much time to correct the errors from his young adulthood.
4. Jam Master Jay (January 21, 1965 – October 30, 2002)
Halloween ’02 was horrific for a reason that it shouldn’t have been, mainly because it marked the senseless death of Run DMC’s legendary DJ. Even though his murder is still unsolved, we hope the late icon gets his due justice.
5. Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965)
Source:Richard Saunders/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The assassination of Malcolm X polarizes people even to this this day, having inspired a never-ending line of books, movies, biographical series and other forms of media that try to make sense of how a man with such vision could be slain in such a way.
6. Pop Smoke (July 20, 1999 – February 19, 2020)
Another young emcee to die before their career even got a chance to start, the 20-year-old Brooklyn rapper’s death gave the world a powerful lesson on what we have to be careful sharing on social media.
7. King Von (August 9, 1994 – November 6, 2020)
The fatal shooting of Chicago rapper King Von late last year proved that gun violence, especially within the hip-hop world, is sadly far from being expunged completely.
8. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)
We honor him on his birthday for a reason, and to think that MLK Jr. could’ve possibly been celebrating his 92nd birthday with us in 2021 had it not been for his 1968 assassination is a dream that’s just too sad to dwell on for too long.
9. The Notorious B.I.G. / Biggie Smalls (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997)
Biggie’s death is still one of the saddest moments from the ’90s overall, but his legacy has thankfully proved to grow bigger than even he probably would’ve imagined.
10. Tupac Shakur / 2Pac (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996)
Tupac Shakur, the prolific, powerful and oftentimes political poet of ’90s hip-hop, is easily one of the greatest losses the game has ever felt. There are no words to explain how much his presence is missed in music.
11. Nipsey Hussle (August 15, 1985 – March 31, 2019)
A community man in every sense of the word, Nipsey Hussle became a certified West Coast icon well before his senseless murder. Through acts of activism around his neighborhood, the Crenshaw king did things that his people will forever be grateful for.
12. Selena (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995)
Losing Selena is still a hard fact to process, even two decades and counting after her tragic murder. What’s comforting is that her estate is doing everything and then some to make sure no one ever forgets the Queen of Tejano music.
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