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Rapper Young Dolph Killed in Memphis Shooting at Age 36

Young Dolph was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday, November 17, Us Weekly can confirm. He was 36.

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“The West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis has received notification of the reported death of Adolph Thornton, Jr. and is currently investigating,” director of the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center Benjamin J. Figura, PhD, D-ABFA, told Us on Wednesday in a statement. (The center is managed by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.)

The “Aspen” rapper walked into Makeda’s Butter Cookies on Wednesday to buy cookies when someone drove up and shot him, the shop’s owner, Maurice Hill, told Fox13 after the incident. Hill recalled the shooting taking place around 1 p.m. CT.


Rapper Young Dolph Shot and Killed at Age 36
Young Dolph. Larry Marano/Shutterstock

The Memphis Police Department previously confirmed via Twitter on Wednesday that officers pronounced a male victim dead at the scene.

Young Dolph, whose real name is Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., was born in Chicago but his family moved to Memphis when he was 2 years old.

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He rose to fame in 2016 after the release of his debut album, King of Memphis. The record peaked at No. 49 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The “Blue Diamond” rapper was later featured on O.T. Genasis‘ single “Cut It,” which rose to No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. He has since released six more albums, including 2017’s Bulletproof, 2020’s Rich Slave and 2021’s Dum and Dummer 2.

Dolph, who was well-known in the Memphis community, was previously involved in two shootings in 2017 after surviving a drive-by shooting back in 2008.

The “Get Paid” musician was shot several times outside the Lowes Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles and was struck with three bullets in September 2017. He was able to escape to a nearby retail store, Shoe Palace, and call 911, USA Today reported at the time.

Dolph was hospitalized for several weeks in 2017. While a suspect was arrested for attempted murder that same month, he was later released without any charges. The suspect, Corey McClendon, had ties to Yo Gotti, who reportedly had an ongoing feud with Dolph that dates back to 2014. Gotti was never charged with anything in relation to the crime.

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Earlier that year, an SUV attached to Dolph was shot dozens of times in Charlotte, North Carolina. As many as 100 bullets were fired into the vehicle, which was bulletproof, so Dolph escaped unharmed.

In May 2017, Blac Youngsta was one of three men charged with discharging a weapon and felony conspiracy in connection with the shooting, USA Today reported. The incident was believed to be part of an ongoing rivalry between the two rappers.

Dolph is survived by two children, son Tre Tre and daughter Aria Ella, whom he shares with on-again, off-again girlfriend, Mia Jaye.

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