She was the inspiration for one of hip hop’s most iconic songs, “Dear Mama,” so Afeni Shakur always held a special place in the hearts of music fans. The mother of late rap legend Tupac Shakur died on Monday from a possible heart attack in her California home. She was 69 years old.
According to TMZ, the Marin County Sheriff’s department responded to an emergency call for a cardiac arrest late Monday night at Shakur’s Sausalito, CA home. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead just before 10:30pm.
During Tupac’s influential career he often talked about the profound impact his mother had on his life. Shakur, born Alice Faye Williams, changed her name in the late 1960s when she joined the Black Panthers. Shakur was famously arrested in 1969 along with other Panthers and charged with conspiring to bomb multiple landmarks in New York City. During her trail, which was dubbed the “Panther 21,” she was pregnant with Tupac. Just in her early 20s at the time, Shakur represented herself in court and was acquitted of all charges in 1971. She gave birth to her only son a month later.
Music fans grew familiar with Afeni Shakur through the many endearing songs Tupac wrote in honor her. The most famous of those odes being his 1995 hit “Dear Mama,” which became an anthem for mothers everywhere.
Following her son’s death in 1996, Afeni Shakur opened the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Georgia, as a tribute to his legacy.
She was also serving as an executive producer for the biopic All Eyez on Me, which is set for release in November.