Marion Knight, Jr. was born on April 19, 1965, in Compton, California. “Sugar Bear,” his childhood nickname, became “Suge” later in life. He is the son of Marion Knight Sr. and Maxine Knight. Suge graduated from Lynwood High School in 1983, where he was a football and track standout. He played football for two years at El Camino College before transferring to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he played for two more years.
During the 1987 NFL Players Strike, Knight was a substitute player for the Los Angeles Rams. With them, he played two games.
Early on in your career
Following his NFL career, Knight worked as a concert producer and bodyguard for a number of celebrities, including Bobby Brown. Knight established his own music publishing firm in 1989, and he made it big when Vanilla Ice decided to hand over the profits for his song “Ice Ice Baby” to him.
It was, however, not without controversy. Knight and his bodyguards reportedly accosted Vanilla Ice many times in an attempt to get him to hand up the music rights, including breaking into his hotel room and allegedly suspending him by his ankles from the balcony.
Knight then established a talent management firm and signed DJ Quik and The D.O.C., two hip hop acts. This is how he met numerous members of the gangsta rap group N.W.A.
Suge Knight’s net worth
Suge Knight has a net worth of $200 thousand dollars as an American record executive, music producer, and entrepreneur. Suge Knight is most known for co-founding Death Row Records, a record company that was hugely successful in the 1990s courtesy to musicians like Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg.
Death Row Records is a record label based in Los Angeles
Suge Knight is best known as the former CEO and co-founder of Death Row Records, which was pivotal in introducing gangster rap to the public in the 1990s.
Suge, Dr. Dre, The D.O.C., and a silent partner called Michael “Harry-O” Harris co-founded Death Row. Harry-O was imprisoned at the time after being charged with and convicted of running a large-scale drug trafficking enterprise with the Cali Cartel. Death Row received $1.5 million in seed money from Harry-O.
David Kenner, Harry-criminal O’s lawyer, became the label’s in-house counsel while simultaneously managing his investment. Suge offered to make Harry-wife O’s Lydia a popstar in exchange for the money.
Suge Knight and Death Row Records were among the first to sign performers like Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, and Snoop Dogg. Dre’s solo album, “The Chronic,” was certified Triple Platinum in the United States before the end of 1993. It launched the career of Snoop Dogg, Dre’s apprentice, who released his first album in 1994. That same year, “Doggystyle” reached triple platinum in the United States.
Knight was embroiled in a public fight with 2 Live Crew and Sean Combs (“Puff Daddy”). When Knight blasted Combs on television at the Source Awards in August 1995, their dispute escalated. Later that year, Suge Knight offered to post Tupac Shakur’s $1.4 million bail if the rapper agreed to join with Death Row.
He accepted and released the “All Eyez on Me” and “Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” double album in 1996. M.C. Hammer signed with Death Row in 1995, but departed the label soon after.
After Mr. Knight was imprisoned for parole breaches, Death Row Records started to break apart. Several of Death Row’s most well-known musicians, including Dr. Dre, soon left the company.
Death Row sold over 150 million records worldwide and earned an estimated $750 million in net revenue during its peak.
Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were assassinated.
Suge Knight has been the focus of various hypotheses concerning the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., despite never being indicted. On September 7, 1996, Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting. Tupac had been in the vehicle with Suge Knight.
A white Cadillac drew up to Knight’s right side at 11:15 p.m., and Shakur was shot four times. The fragmentation of the bullets struck Knight in the head. Knight was able to drive one mile from the location where they were stopped by cops and ambulances were called.
Shakur died six days after they arrived at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. While several hypotheses have circulated about who shot Tupac, The Los Angeles Times reported that the killing was carried out by a Compton gang.
Biggie Smalls, Shakur’s East Coast adversary, was assassinated in a similar manner on March 9, 1997. Former Death Row artists such as Snoop Dog speculated that Knight was involved in both killings and that Biggie’s death was a revenge killing.
His murder has never been solved, however the most popular idea is that he was murdered by the Crips street gang. Snoop Dogg’s album “Tha Doggfather” openly criticises Knight for assassinating Shakur. Snoop attacked Knight again in 2006, this time for the death of Biggie Smalls.
Suge owes the IRS $6.5 million in overdue taxes, according to the IRS in 2002. Suge Knight declared personal bankruptcy in 2006. He claimed to have assets worth between $0 and $50,000 at the time.
He also claimed to owe more than $100 million in debts, albeit most of that was due to a single $107 million judgement issued to his former business partner’s former wife. Death Row was compelled to declare for bankruptcy later that year as a result of their obligations.
Death Row’s assets were auctioned off for $18 million in 2009. WIDEawake Entertainment Group came out on top as the winning bidder. WIDEawake was later sold to New Solutions Financial Corp., a Canadian firm. In 2012, New Solutions Financial Corp declared bankruptcy. A corporation named Entertainment One, popularly known as eOne, purchased Death Row’s assets in 2013.
Hasbro, a toy company, bought eOne in 2019. Hasbro’s music branch, which included Death Row’s assets, was sold to private equity firm The Blackstone Group in 2021. Snoop Dogg bought the brand name and intellectual property rights to “Death Row Records” from Blackstone in February 2022 for an unknown sum. The music company’s immensely valuable master recordings were kept by Blackstone.
Suge has had multiple run-ins with the authorities in the two decades after his release from Death Row. Between 1997 and 2001, he spent four years in jail for violating his parole. In 2003, he was sentenced to jail once again for breaking his parole.
Between 2008 and 2009, Suge had many violent altercations. On February 8, 2012, he was detained again in Las Vegas on marijuana charges. Knight was filmed in 2014 during a Video Music Awards celebration held by Chris Brown at a nightclub on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.
He was shot six times yet managed to get to a hospital on his own. Knight and Katt Williams were arrested and charged with robbery in October 2014 when a paparazzi photographer’s camera was stolen.
Knight was charged with threatening the life of F. Gary Gray, the filmmaker of “Straight Outta Compton,” in August 2017. Gray’s depiction of Suge Knight in the film was poor. In 2017, Knight suffered from eyesight and blood clots, preventing him from attending his several court sessions.
Accidental Death As A Result Of A Hit-and-Run
Suge Knight was reportedly engaged in a deadly hit-and-run collision in Compton on January 29, 2015. It’s possible that the event was connected to a brawl on the set of a movie. Suge reportedly backed his vehicle over the man and then drove away, according to witnesses.
Suge is said to have subsequently departed the area and left his vehicle in a parking lot. Suge pled no guilty to voluntary manslaughter on September 20, 2018, and now faces up to 28 years in state prison. Knight is now detained at the RJ Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego as of 2020.
When Knight was in jail in 1999, he married American R&B singer Michel’le. He had previously assisted her in obtaining sobriety by sending her to treatment. Six years later, she filed for divorce, only to find out that their marriage was unlawful since he was still legally married to an ex-wife.
Bailei is the couple’s daughter (b. 2002). Toi Lin Kelly, Suge’s fiancee, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for helping Knight in communicating with the creators of a Death Row Records tell-all in 2015. Prior to his murder trial, a court had already restricted Knight from communicating with anybody other than his counsel.