Tupac Took a Fan to Prom in 1996 and Gave Her $1,500 for the Dress

When it comes to music, there are plenty of artists who have left a lasting impression and a legacy that continues to resonate and inspire long after their deaths. For rapper Tupac Shakur, both his music and the stories about his life have remained relevant and important to fans for decades. 

It has been more than twenty years since the rapper met an untimely end at the age of just 25 in 1996. A story about how he took a fan to prom that same year is gaining newfound attention. 

Tupac Shakur had a profound rap career in a short time 

Tupac was born in 1971. As he rose to fame, he typically went by just his first name, and Tupac quickly became one of the most prolific and influential artists in the hip-hop community. He attended the Baltimore School for the Arts — sparking a friendship with a young Jada Pinkett Smith along the way. The study of poetry during his time at the institution definitely had an influence on his later works. 

By the early 1990s, Tupac was working with Digital Underground and got a record deal with Interscope. He only had a few years to leave his mark on the music world, but his rapid-fire release of albums meant that he left behind a storied legacy of poetic lyrics and meaningful beats. From 2Pacalypse Now (1991) to All Eyez on Me (1996), the rapper put out five studio albums filled with tracks that still resonate

Tupac Shakur once took a fan to prom

Shortly before his death, Tupac made a sweet gesture that certainly had a tremendous impact on at least one young fan. Kia Chenelle wrote to Tupac’s fan club and asked him to be her date to the big event, as Insider reports. Surely not the only starstruck fan to make such a request, it’s unlikely that Chenelle expected much to come out of it. Imagine her surprise, then, when Tupac showed up at her house! 

“There was a knock at my door and it was him! He was by himself. No reporters no homies just 2pac Shakur at my doorstep,” Chenelle remembered later. He may not have been surrounded by reporters, but he didn’t arrive empty-handed. He brought her $1500 to buy a prom dress and got a limo to take them to the event in style. 

Chenelle recalled that they were surrounded by excited kids taking pictures, but they managed to enjoy some of the prom itself. “We danced to about five songs then he said he had business to take care of kissed me on the cheek and left,” Chenelle said. 

Tupac Shakur had a history of charitable acts

Tupac Shakur poses for photo
Tupac Shakur 1992 | Gary Reyes / Oakland Tribune Staff Archives

Tupac’s kindness toward the young fan wasn’t out of character. He was particularly caring toward children and donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation. His prom date story is reminiscent of the time he hosted a barbecue for a girl in a wheelchair who had made an impression. 

These passions led him to volunteer with the LA-area charity A Place Called Home. The organization is dedicated to providing regional educational assistance. 

One particularly impactful interaction was with 11-year-old Joshua Torres. The young fan was dying of muscular dystrophy and made a final wish to meet the rapper. Tupac spent the day making meaningful memories without any publicity-minded reporters tagging along. Torres died just 45 minutes after Tupac left from their time together. Torres’ parents were so touched that they wrote in as character witnesses during Tupac’s 1994 sentencing for assault charges. 

Tupac left behind a complex and storied legacy. The violence surrounding his death and some of the unsavory themes of his music may give pause, but Tupac’s long history of charitable works and meaningful personal connections weave a more interesting story. 

RELATED: Friend of Tupac Shakur Says Suge Knight Was Manipulative of the Rapper