Rapper and singer Tory Lanez was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for shooting dead hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in July 2020.
Lanez, 31, was convicted in December 2022 of all charges related to the shooting of Megan Thee Stallion: assault with a semi-automatic firearm, carrying an unregistered firearm and reckless firing of a firearm. Prosecutors sought a 13-year sentence for Lanez on the grounds that he “led a campaign to humiliate and re-traumatize the victim.”
Megan Thee Stallion (born Megan Pete) reiterated the prosecution’s belief that Lanez should be sentenced as harshly as possible, writing to the judge that she was “simply unable to enforce the sentence.” [herself] to be in the same room with Tory again,” but that her absence should not be taken as indifference.
During the sentencing hearings, more than 70 people filed letters of recommendation asking the judge for leniency towards the Toronto rapper, including Iggy Azalea, who later tweeted“I’m not in favor of throwing ANY life away when we can instead provide appropriate, rehabilitating sentences.” I support prison reform. Period.”
Lanez was born Daystar Peterson on July 27, 1992 in Brampton, Ontario. As a child he was sent to Queens, New York, but later returned to Toronto at the age of 15, where he lived with his grandmother and worked on his music.
After signing with Interscope, he released his ambitious debut I Told You in 2016, which peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200. On the narrative, sketch-heavy album, Lanez sings and raps his life story, telling it as he struggles to make his musical dreams come true and sings slow bedroom jams, most notably on the album’s breakout hit “say it.”
Lanez’s icy, melodic sound drew comparison to Drake, who that same year distanced his younger peers on Summer Sixteen, rapping, “You guys in the new Toronto wanna be a little bit like me.” (Lanez had his mixtape in 2015 The New Toronto published.) The two exchanged subtle remarks for about a year, with Lanez at one point boasting that Summer Sixteen helped boost his own merchandise sales.
“When the record came out, I turned S- into sugar,” he said forbes in 2016. “Everyone took it as a negative, but I took it as a positive.”
Lanez’s long-running mixtape series Chixtapes, in which he reimagined R&B hits like Drake’s “Controlla” and Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine,” culminated in 2019’s Chixtapes 5. Not only were the samples officially released here, but Lanez hired the original songwriters to rework their own songs, including T-Pain on “Jerry Sprunger” and Snoop Dogg on “Beauty in the Benz.”
The album reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest of his seven albums. He most recently released “Sorry For What” in September 2022, which peaked at number 10.
Lanez and Megan were first spotted together in March 2020 when the Houston rapper made a cameo on his fast-growing quarantine radio series, which was hosted on Instagram Live. They went live again in April, this time together in the same venue where they shot tequila while Megan tried to teach him a dance.
However, in July 2020, their relationship turned violent after a late-night party at Kylie Jenner’s Hollywood Hills home.
Prosecutors alleged that after leaving Jenner’s home, the couple were traveling in an SUV with a woman named Kelsey Harris — a longtime friend of Megan Thee Stallion, from whom she is now estranged — and Lanez’s bodyguard.
Prosecutors said the two artists got into a heated argument when Megan mocked Thee Stallion Lanez’s rap skills. At one point, she demanded to be let out of the car, after which Lanez allegedly shot her repeatedly, authorities said.
The shooting sparked a series of 911 calls, and Los Angeles police officers eventually stopped the SUV near Hollywood Boulevard and found Megan Thee Stallion with an injured foot. First, she told police she was injured when she stepped on broken glass at Jenner’s party.
However, weeks later, in a live Instagram video, she accused Lanez of shooting her. She had said she was reluctant to report the incident to the Los Angeles Police Department for fear the police would respond with deadly force, as they did in the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.
Times contributors James Queally and Jonah Valdez contributed to this report.