The prolific Shakur, who is receiving his first nomination, was shot and killed at his peak in 1996. His album "Me Against the World" hit the top of the charts when he was in prison for sexual assault. "Keep Ya Head Up," ''Life Goes On," ''Ambitionz Az a Ridah" and "Changes" are among his best-known songs. He recorded so much while alive that releases kept flowing after his death.
— DAVID BAUDER, Associated Press
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bio:
"Beyond his popularity, Tupac Shakur is one of the most complex figures to emerge from hip-hop – really, to emerge from any art form. His naked emotion and fearless personal revelation were a direct influence on MCs from Eminem to Kendrick Lamar. “Every rapper who grew up in the ’90s owes something to Tupac,” wrote 50 Cent in Rolling Stone, paying tribute to Shakur as one of the “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time.”
Tupac was born into struggle—his mother, Afeni, was a leader in the Black Panther movement—but grew up to become not just a multi-platinum rapper, but a movie star. He managed to become both the “realest” artist, in a genre obsessed with authenticity, and larger than life. His songs preached activism and nihilism, expressed rage and love, raised questions without answers. He was a lightning rod, a screen onto which millions of people continue to project their feelings about rap, about race, and about the young black man in America today."