MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friends and fans of late rapper Young Dolph honored his life and legacy Thursday at a “Celebration of Life” ceremony at Memphis’ FedExForum.
The ceremony began around noon with a video tribute. It ended with Sen. Katrina Robinson presenting the family with a proclamation officially naming Nov. 17 as Adolph ‘Young Dolph’ Thornton, Jr Day of Service in Tennessee and Georgia.
Free tickets were available through Ticketmaster, but all were claimed as of Monday afternoon, according to a statement from Young Dolph’s family.
Fans begin lining up outside the Forum hours before the ceremony.
“He moved differently — grooved differently — because he was built differently.” Those are just some of the words from loved ones during a final farewell to the King of Memphis.
FOX13′s cameras were at FedExForum as family, friends, and fans came together to remember Young Dolph.
The celebrities who spoke shared moments of Young Dolph inspiring them.
R&B singer Monica shared one of the many conversations she and Dolph had when she asked him what inspired him the most. She said Dolph responded that it was his son and daughter. Several speakers said ‘family first’ was the message that he always kept first.
“Overall, just a real good guy. Gone too soon,” said 2 Chainz in a video.
Rap artists including T.I., Gucci Mane, C Murder, Memphis legends 8 Ball and MJG, and Jackson State University football coach Deion Sanders paid tribute to Dolph in videos.
“I want to send my boy off with love. It was always love, and it’s always going to be live on earth or wherever,” said 8 Ball and MJG.
Singer Keke Wyatt paid tribute to the fallen star with her version of “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”
New Orleans rapper C. Murder who is currently serving life in the Louisiana State Prison, shared a video of how his conversations with Dolph inspired him while behind bars.
“They gave me life,” he said. “They want me to die in jail. And when you in this situation, a lot of people run out on you. Your own family. So for Dolph to come through a holla at me, that was some real stuff.”
R&B singer Monica also made an appearance, sharing a conversation between her and Dolph that inspired the both of them.
“I asked him what was the most important thing to him, and he told me it was two things. My son and my daughter,” she said.
Young Dolph died on Nov. 17 after being shot at a local cookie shop on Airways Boulevard.
The owner of Makeda’s Cookies told FOX13 the rapper, whose real name was Adolph Thornton, Jr., was inside the store when someone drove up, got out, and shot him.
He was well known around the Memphis area, where he handed out turkeys for Thanksgiving, spoke to schoolchildren, and donated money to his former high school, Hamilton High.
Memphis police released photos of two suspects wanted in Young Dolph’s killing.
Police said two shooters pulled up to Makeda’s Cookies in a white two-door Mercedes before running up to the store and opening fire.
In a release, MPD called the shooting “senseless.”
No arrests have been made.
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