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Big Pun was a Latino hip-hop artist whose album Capital Punishment went to No. 1 on the R&B/hip-hop charts. He died in 2000 from obesity related heart failure.
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But Big Pun still managed to wow audiences when he performed live. He was also in demand for his amazing skills, making a cameo appearance on Jennifer Lopez’s “Feelin’ So Good” with Fat Joe. In fact, Big Pun was supposed to appear on Saturday Night Live with Lopez and Fat Joe to perform the song on February 5, 2000, but he cancelled because he was not feeling well.
Around this time, Big Pun, his wife, and children were staying at a hotel in White Plains, New York. They were there because their Bronx home was being worked on. On February 7, he experienced difficulty breathing and collapsed in his hotel room. His wife called 911, but emergency medical workers were not able to revive him. Only 28 years old at the time, Big Pun died of heart failure, weighing nearly 700 pounds.
The hip-hop and Latino communities mourned the passing of one of its stars. Thousands of fans attended his wake in the Bronx a few days after his death. To honor him, a local sign painting company, TATS Cru, painted a large mural about him on a building in his neighborhood. Famous friends also expressed their grief over his death. “He was a source of pride for the Latin community, a great artist and a great person,” Lopez told MTV. “I lost a brother,” Fat Joe said to The New York Times.
Two months after his death, Big Pun’s second album, Yeeah Baby, was released. The record, filled with his trademark tongue-twisting lyrics and Latin cultural references, received warm reviews and quickly rose to No. 3 on the album charts and reached the top of the R&B/hip-hop album charts. The next year, a compilation of his work, Endangered Species, also performed well, serving as a final sendoff for the larger-than-life rapper.
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