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Notorious B.I.G., Nas And Mary J. Blige Producer Chucky Thompson Dies At 53

Chucky Thompson at a screening of the 2010 movie <em>Takers</em> in Washington D.C.
Kris Connor
Getty Images
Chucky Thompson at a screening of the 2010 movie Takers in Washington D.C.

Chucky Thompson, one of the in-house producers for Diddy's legendary Bad Boy Records, has died. He was 53 years old. His death was first announced by producer Young Guru on Instagram, who called him "my mentor, my big brother, the man who changed my life forever."

Bad Boy Records' crew of producers were dubbed "Hitmen," and Thompson lived up to the name. His production credits include Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa," Faith Evans' "You Used To Love Me," and Mary J. Blige's breakthrough second album My Life. That album was nominated for a Grammy in 1996 for Best R&B album.

"Chucky and I was and will always be a musical match made in heaven," wrote Blige in a remembrance on Instagram. "He was an angel sent to help me weather my storm."

Thompson was a native of Washington, D.C., and got his start in music playing with legendary go-go musician Chuck Brown. "Chuck taught me about music, money and people early on with his band," Thompson said in an interview with the Recording Academy earlier this year.

"It was a mission of mine as soon as I got back from the successes and accomplishments from New York, my first mission was to come and work on a record with Chuck. We worked on three albums together. It felt like life robbed him because he had so much more in store. He passed away working with dates still booked. He was super inspirational to me."

Thompson had music in the works before his death, too. His last Instagram post promoted the first offering from Diddy's new record label Love, set to drop on Sept. 24, 2021.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.