Afeni Shakur, Mother of Hip-Hop Legend Tupac Shakur, Dies at 69

Afeni Shakur, Mother of Hip-Hop Legend Tupac Shakur, Dies at 69

Afeni Shakur Davis, the activist mother of slain rap legend Tupac Shakur who was the subject of his iconic “Dear Mama” song and controlled his estate, has died. She was 69 years old.


Marin County Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters responded to Shakur’s home in Sausalito, Calif., Monday night after she suffered a possible heart attack, the sheriff’s office said Tuesday morning.

She was taken to a local hospital and died just before 10:30 p.m.

“At this point there is nothing to indicate to us that there was any foul play, nothing suspicious about this other than this being sadly a natural event that has occurred,” Marin County Sheriff’s Lt. Doug Pittman said Tuesday.

He said Shakur was in the company of a friend when she began to feel sick.

Afeni Shakur speaks onstage at Tupac's 40th Birthday Celebration at the Atlanta Symphony Hall on June 16, 2011.
Afeni Shakur speaks onstage at Tupac’s 40th Birthday Celebration at the Atlanta Symphony Hall on June 16, 2011.

“She was experiencing some type of physical discomfort,” Pittman said.

“Attempts were made to try to remedy those problems at home, but when they got more severe, it was at that time the family friend called 911 and asked for medical help.”

Paramedics arrived around 9:30 p.m. and immediately began to provide CPR, he said.

She was rushed to Marin General Hospital, where she was treated for about an hour before she died, Pittman said.

The investigation has been turned over to the coroner’s division, where officials will speak to family members about Shakur’s recent health history and research her medical records to determine whether an autopsy is needed, he said.

“This is a tragic loss to this community,” Pittman said.

Shakur, born Alice Faye Williams, changed her name when she moved to New York City and joined the Black Panther movement. She and other party members were arrested in 1969 and charged with conspiracy to bomb multiple busy city landmarks.

In May 1971, she was acquitted on all charges after she represented herself in court while heavily pregnant. She gave birth to Tupac just one month later.

Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur

She was the subject of his 1995 song “Dear Mama,” in which Tupac detailed his childhood struggles and respect for his mother’s battle back from addiction.

“There’s no way I can pay you back/But the plan is to show you that I understand/You are appreciated,” he rapped.

After her son’s 1996 shooting death, Shakur took over the late rapper’s estate, which reportedly earns about $900,000 each year.

Afeni (l.) and Tupac Shakur in the 2003 documentary "Tupac: Resurrection."
Afeni (l.) and Tupac Shakur in the 2003 documentary “Tupac: Resurrection.”

Dina LaPolt, a California attorney who handled Tupac Shakur’s estate for nearly 10 years, fought back tears as she described Shakur, who inspired the lawyer to open up her own firm in 2001.

“She’s an advocate,” LaPolt told the Daily News. “She’s an activist. She taught me never to compromise your values – to always fight for what you believe in.”

LaPolt oversaw the legal work behind 11 posthumously released albums while she represented the estate between 2001 and 2010.

The lawyer developed a close professional relationship with Shakur, who LaPolt described as “one of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with.”

Shakur also influenced LaPolt’s personal life, she said.

“I met her when I was 91 days sober. Now I’m 18 years sober,” she said. “She was very, very instrumental in my life. I carry her with me to this day.”

Earlier this year, Shakur filed for divorce from her husband of 12 years, Gust Davis, and was in a legal battle over her son’s estate, TMZ reported.

Davis demanded half of the monthly $20,000 Shakur took home every month.

In 2014, Shakur co-produced “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” a Broadway jukebox musical featuring her son’s works.

A movie about Tupac’s life, “All Eyez on Me,” is set for release in November, with Danai Gurira cast as Shakur. Shakur served as an executive producer for the film.

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