Philanthropist and former Black Panther activist Afeni Shakur, the mother of Tupac Shakur, died on Monday (May 2) of a possible heart attack. She was 69.
Marin County Sheriff’s Department officials responded to a report of cardiac arrest at Afeni’s home in Sausalito, Calif. at approximately 9:43 p.m. She was transported to a nearby hospital, as per TMZ, and there, she was pronounced dead at 10:28 p.m.
As a founder and leader, Afeni ran the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation following her son’s death in 1996. He was shot and killed in a still-unsolved crime in Las Vegas.
Afeni was also the gatekeeper for Tupac’s estate. In that role, she greenlit posthumous albums and All Eyez on Me, a recently-wrapped biopic about her son’s rise to superstardom.
Tupac rapped about his mother on several songs, most famously on “Dear Mama,” a cut about his upbringing, her battles with drug addiction, and her love.
“There are no words that can express how I feel,” rapped Pac. “You never kept a secret, always stayed real / And I appreciate how you raised me / And all the extra love that you gave me / I wish I could take the pain away / If you can make it through the night, there’s a brighter day / Everything will be alright if you hold on / It’s a struggle every day, gotta roll on / And there’s no way I can pay you back / But my plan is to show you that I understand / You are appreciated.”
It is believed that Afeni died of a heart attack, but her passing is set to be investigated to determine an exact cause of death.