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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rap Artist Dies After Shooting

LOS ANGELES -- Tupac Shakur, the brilliant but tortured rap artist whose lyrics told of a life of guns, gangs and regrets, died in a Las Vegas hospital, six days after he was shot four times in a street ambush near the gambling city's lavish strip. He was 25.


The rapper, whose "All Eyez on Me" album entered the national sales charts at No. 1 in February, was pronounced dead at 4:03 p.m. Friday at University Medical Center of respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest, a hospital spokesman said.


As soon as reports of the death were confirmed, rap and hip-hop radio stations across the country began playing Shakur's records and airing tributes to the rapper.


And the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who prayed with Shakur's mother at the rapper's bedside Sunday, was broken up by the news.


"This is so, so sad," said Jackson. "Sometimes the lure of violent culture is so magnetic that even when one overcomes it with material success, it continues to call. He couldn't break the cycle."


Police said Shakur was shot Sept. 7 while in a car with Death Row Records president Marion "Suge" Knight.


Shakur was taken to University Medical Center, where surgeons removed his right lung. He remained on a respirator in intensive care until his death. Knight was grazed in the head by a bullet fragment, but suffered only minor injuries.


Shakur was born into conflict. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was a member of the Black Panther Party and spent part of the time she was pregnant with him in prison. As a member of the New York 21, she was accused -- and subsequently acquitted -- of conspiring to bomb department stores and police stations.


Born in New York City in 1971, Tupac Amaru Shakur made his acting debut at age 13 in a benefit performance for Jackson's 1984 presidential bid. A fledgling film actor who co-starred with Janet Jackson in 1993's "Poetic Justice," the photogenic Shakur had recently completed a role as a detective for the Orion picture "Gang Related."