Young Dolph, popular Memphis-based rapper, dead at 36
By Chloe Melas, CNN
(CNN) -- Young Dolph, the rapper behind albums like "Rich Slave," died in a fatal shooting in Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday at the age of 36, according to Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn "CJ" Davis.
The rapper, whose real name is Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., was reportedly buying cookies at Makeda's Homemade Butter Cookies in Memphis when someone drove up and shot him.
"This shooting is another example of the senseless gun violence we are experiencing locally and nationwide. Our hearts go out to the Thornton family and all who are affected by this horrific act of violence," Davis said.
No suspect information is available at this time, according to Davis.
"All of us at APA are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of our dear friend and client, Young Dolph," a representative of the management company said in a statement to Variety. "The world has lost an icon, a great man and beloved artist who has been taken too soon. His dedication, drive, hard work and loyalty to all those around him always came first and he will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this most difficult time. "
CNN has reached out to APA representatives for comment.
A native of Chicago who grew up in Memphis, Young Dolph released his debut album, "King of Memphis" in 2016. He went on to have several hits, including "Blue Diamonds," and "RNB" featuring Megan Thee Stallion. His fifth studio album, 2020's "Rich Slave," rose to No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.
In 2017, he was nearly killed in a shooting incident in Hollywood. He spent weeks hospitalized after sustaining three gunshot wounds.
"I've been targeted since I was 17, 18, 19," Young Dolph told The Guardian about the incident in a 2018 interview. "I just knew that I was good."
He added that he wasn't "a person that lives in fear."
Following the news of his death, fellow artists and fans paid tributes to Young Dolph.
"God bless Dolph ? independent Memphis rapper born in chicago. loved by millions of ppl," Chance the Rapper tweeted. "Always showed love everytime I seen him this is tragic God bless his family man."
"R.I.P. to my friend Dolph. this broke my heart," wrote Gucci Mane.
Young Dolph is survived by two children.
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