The Notorious B.I.G., who was born Christopher Wallace and also performed under the name Biggie Smalls, is one of the most influential rappers of all time. That’s why, despite only recording two studio albums and being killed 20 years ago, he is still worth millions of dollars. March 9, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of his death.
Wallace was born in Brooklyn and played a major role in the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry during the 1990s. He was killed in a drive-by shooting on March 9, 1997 in Los Angeles. His murder remains unsolved.
Wallace was married to singer Faith Evans from 1994 until his death. He had two children, T’yanna Wallace and Christopher Wallace Jr. Evans’ is Christopher Wallace Jr.’s mother.
Here is a look at Wallace’s net worth, money and how his mother honors his memory.
1. Biggie Had an Estimated Net Worth of $160 Million
Although Wallace doesn’t appear on Forbes’ most recent Top 10 dead celebrities list, his success over time means that he still has a high net worth. Celebrity Net Worth estimates that he has an estimated net worth of $160 million.
Wallace began rapping in his teens, recording a demo under the name “Biggie Smalls.” He caught the attention of DJ Mister Cee and was featured in The Source magazine in 1992. He made another recording, which caught the attention of Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, who signed him to his Bad Boy Records imprint.
After appearing on several recordings by other artists, his first album, Ready to Die was finally released in September 1994. It was the only album released in his lifetime, since Life After death came out just days after his death.
2. His Childhood Apartment Was Listed for $750,000 in 2013
In 2013, a listing for an apartment in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn was listed on Street Easy for $725,000. It was a special apartment because it was Wallace’s childhood home. The apartment was sold.
In an interview with the Daily Intelligencer, listing agent Judith Lief said she was aware of the three-bedroom apartment’s significance in music history. She said that the owners who decided to sell it were “very lovable people.”
“The tour buses that come by regularly are enough,” Lief told the Daily Intelligencer in 2013. “I don’t really know yet what impact, if any, [Biggie’s looming presence] will have on the sale. I think it’ll be notable, but I don’t know if novelty translates to a purchase.”
The Water Mill, New York mansion Wallace owned that was seen in his famous “Juicy” music video was listed on Zillow in 2012 for $10.975 million.
3. The Car He Was Killed in Is Heading to the Auction Block for $1.5 Million
Auction firm Moments In Time is auctioning off the BMW SUV Wallace was in when he was shot and killed in March 1997.
A woman, whose identity was not revealed, owned the car and was not aware of the car’s importance until 2005 when police told her, reports Billboard. She bought the car at a public auction in October 1997, just a few months after Wallace died.
Moments In Time is hoping to get $1.5 million for the car. The seller also has a letter of authenticity. Police did originally remove the passenger side door as evidence, but they said they would put back the damaged door once it’s purchased.
Moments In Time is also selling the 1996 BMW 750iL that Tupac Shakur was in when he was killed in 1997. The seller is hoping to get $1.5 million for that as well.
4. ‘Life After Death’ Has Sold Over 10 Million Copies
Life After Death was released on March 25, 1997, just 16 days after Wallace’s death. The double-disc album was an instant success and has since been certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Wallace’s first album, Ready To Die, was certified 4X Platinum in 1999.
Both of his posthumous albums have been successes as well. Born Again was certified 2X Platinum and Duets: The Final Chapter was certified Platinum in 2006.
The singles “Big Poppa/Warning,” “One More Change,” “Hypnotize” and “Mo Money Mo Problems” have all been certified Platinum. “Sky’s The Limit,” “Nasty Girl” and “Big Poppa” have been certified Gold.
5. His Mother Runs The Chris Wallace Foundation in His Memory
Months after his death, Wallace’s mother Voletta chose to keep her son’s memory alive with the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation, which tries to promote reading over guns. In fact, his mother now says that the B.I.G. in “Notorious B.I.G.” stands for “Books Instead of Guns.”
“The expressed purpose of The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation, Inc. is to serve as a vehicle for giving back to the community. As a non-profit organization its primary target will be in the field of education,” reads a statement on its website.
“As a little girl, I learned that reading maketh the full man. If you read, you gain knowledge from what you study. You won’t deteriorate to violence,” Wallace’s mother told the Pocono Record in 2003. “You focus on the good, help others instead of murdering others.”
Although the foundation’s website hasn’t been updated since 2011, it is still active. The Brooklyn Nets announced that the franchise will donate funds to refurbish a basketball court at Wallace’s middle school in Brooklyn on behalf of the foundation.
“Biggie’s music played a major role in positioning Brooklyn at the forefront of the music industry, and on Sunday we will celebrate his enduring legacy,” Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment said in a statement. “There is no better place to honor him than at Barclays Center, Brooklyn’s biggest stage and the home of hip-hop.”