17 years ago Sunday -- on March 9th, 1997 -- The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered by a still-unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. One of the most influential figures in hip-hop history, his memory still hangs over a lot of the music being made.

  • Christopher Wallace was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.
  • He released his debut album, Ready to Die, in 1994 and quickly became a leading figure in the East Coast, then the national, hip-hop scene.
  • While recording his second album, he became heavily involved in the East Coast-West Coast beef of the '90s, which was led by his friend-turned-rival Tupac Shakur.
  • The double-disc set Life After Death, released 15 days after Biggie's assassination, hit number-one and was certified diamond for sales of 10 million copies in 2000.
  • Two more posthumous albums were released, giving him a total of almost 20 million records sold to date.
  • Biggie was extremely tight with Puff Daddy, who released the hit single "I'll Be Missing You" in tribute after his death.
  • Numerous theories have been floated about Biggie's murder, and its connection to Tupac's, but no one has ever been charged in either crime.