Tupac's 45th Birthday: 45 Celebrity Quotes to Remember Tupac Shakur

The rapper-turned-actor would have been 45 years old today.

ByABC News
June 16, 2016, 12:54 PM
Tupac Shakur arrives at the premiere of "I Like It Like That" to benefit women in need, Nov. 13, 1994.
Tupac Shakur arrives at the premiere of "I Like It Like That" to benefit women in need, Nov. 13, 1994.
Ron Galella/Getty Images

— -- Tupac Shakur would have turned 45 today.

The rapper, known for his extensive catalog, including hits such as "California Love," "Dear Mama" and "Changes," was gunned down Sept. 7, 1996, in Las Vegas and died six days later in the hospital. He was only 25.

Still, the rapper-turned-actor influenced a generation and left a permanent mark on the lives of his many celebrity friends.

In honor of his 45th birthday, here are 45 quotes from the people he touched:

1. Jada Pinkett Smith: "He was a revolutionary without a revolution if that makes any kind sense," his former high school classmate told Howard Stern. "And that kind of energy transferred to a whole other thing."

2. John Singleton: "Tupac was much more than a hip hop artist. ... He was a black man guided by his passions," the director wrote on Instagram.

3. Afeni Shakur: "Let me tell you the reality," Tupac's mother told Vanity Fair. "My great-grandmother was a slave. My grandmother was a sharecropper. My mother was a domestic, and I was whatever the f--- I was. That child changed things for all of us."

4. Snoop Dogg: "My relationship with Pac was like a brother relationship," he recalled on "Kocktails with Khloe." "We were the same age so it was a relationship where we look at each other and admire each other."

5. Ed Sheeran: "I like Tupac's statements and [songs] like 'California Love' and 'Changes,' s--- like that," the singer told Vibe magazine. "I like Tupac more now because it’s reflective."

6. Janet Jackson: "Pac was just silly," the singer told the U.K.'s Sunday Telegraph. "He was completely different from what people knew.Not that it was an act, the person that the world knew, because that was him, too."

7. Eminem: "He was taking things further than a lot of rappers at the time -- pushing it to the next level as far as giving feeling to his words and his music," the rapper told Paper magazine. "A lot of people say, 'You feel Pac,' and it's absolutely true."

8. Kendrick Lamar: "I was 8 yrs old when I first saw you," the rapper wrote in a letter posted to Tupac's official website. "I couldn't describe how I felt at that moment. So many emotions. Full of excitement. Full of joy and eagerness. 20 yrs later I understand exactly what that feeling was. INSPIRED."

9. Kevin Powell: "Tupac was me, and I was him, ghetto children from birth, living until it was our turn to die," he wrote in his memoir, The Education of Kevin Powell.

10. Tom Whalley: "I couldn't slow him down," the recording executive told Vanity Fair. "I never worked with anyone who could write so many great songs so quickly."

11. Mike Tyson: "He's just a different person," he told Shade 45's DJ Whoo Kid. "You know when you see some people in our life, they're like us but they're not like us, they're different."

12. Zendaya: "I think it’s a responsibility, but like Tupac Shakur, I’m a real model," she told Billboard. "Which means, I’m not pretending to be something that I’m not, because like he said, people are going to be disappointed when they find out who you are, because it’s not going to be what you presented to the world. So just keep it real."

13. Dr. Dre: "It was incredible. I remember being in the studio with Pac and he actually went into the mic booth to write, and I was like, 'OK, that's different,'" he said in Ice-T's documentary "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap." "I think that's why he has so many songs and so much material. He was incredible. A serious machine, a serious talent."

14. Jada Pinkett Smith: "'Pac was probably one of the first male figures that I had in my life that saw the beauty and the talent and my intelligence separated from sex," she told Arsenio Hall. "That’s something that a young girl usually gets from the is father; I didn’t have that. ‘Pac was the first one that it was about sex. It was about ‘You, you’re a beautiful woman, you’re talented, you’re strong, I respect you. And you are my girl. You’re gon’ sit right here, and I’ma protect you.'”

15. John Singleton: "Of most importance was his love of black people and culture," he said on Instagram. "Real talk!"

16. Eminem: "I used to be fascinated with his interviews like, 'Yo, what he's saying is so true.' He would also be able to trump people who were interviewing him when they would hit him with hard questions -- it was incredible," told Paper magazine.

17. Nas: "I have way too much respect for Tupac, way too much," the rapper told HuffPost Live. "He was a God."

18. Janet Jackson: "I adored him; he liked to play and laugh," she told the Telegraph.

19. Mike Tyson: "He had a heart as big as this planet," the former boxer told the Associated Press. "He had so much love and compassion, and you couldn't even see it under his rage."

20. Treach: "We spoke many a time, and he was like, 'I don’t see myself growing old,'" the rapper told MTV News.

21. Suge Knight: "Pac was another half of me, a little brother, so anything I could do to help him was great for both of us and not because of his talent as an artist," the former record executive told MTV News.

22. Willow Smith: "I wish you were here... I really do," she wrote on Instagram.

23. Eminem: "He was a superstar in every aspect of the word," he told Paper.

23. Omar Epps: "Some people have that thing and Tupac had that unexplainable thing," the actor told Larry King.

24. Treach: "We spoke many a time, and he was like, 'I don’t see myself growing old,'" the rapper told MTV News.

25. Diddy: "I’ve been through so much; hip-hop has been through so much; Biggie’s, Tupac's [families] have been through so much," he told MTV News.

26. Kendrick Lamar: "The people that you touched on that small intersection changed lives forever," the rapper wrote on Pac's website.

27. Treach: "He had a glow to him. He had something you wanted to be around," he told MTV News.

28. Nas: "He passed the day before my birthday," the rapper told HuffPost Live. "I was gon' meet him in Vegas and it rained in Vegas when he passed. It was a trip."

29. Monica Lynch: "He was funny, adorable, a real flirt," the recording executive told Vanity Fair.

30. Jada Pinkett Smith: "I've had never in my life met a person like 'Pac," the actress told Stern. "He had so much charisma. And he was poor. When I met Pac, he owned two pairs of pants and two sweaters. ... He used to tell me all the time. He was like, 'Jada, you're a superstar.' He didn't say it about himself."

31. Omar Epps: "He was a man of many faces. ... So articulate, so well read," he told King. "[I] Loved him. Great, genuine person, charismatic, loyal, grounded."

32. Mike Tyson: "I'm glad to be a part of his life and to have known him," he told the AP.

32. Treach: "'Pac was a clown. Everybody think he just like gangsta, thug-life ’Pac. He’ll have a whole party just around him crackin’ up," he recalled to MTV News.

34. Jhene Aiko: "He was so contradictory to people, but to me he was just human and not afraid to express himself," the singer told MTV News. "I could relate to that a lot. ... How dancing turned into music, turned into acting, turned into all of the things that he did. And he still had this passion and this purpose about him. That spoke to me so much."

35. Tom Whalley: "Right away you could tell that this guy was different from the rest of the world," the recording executive told Vanity Fair.

36. Neal Moritz: "Dynamic, bold, powerful, magnetic -- any word you want to use," the film producer told Vanity Fair. "Tupac was it."

37. Treach: "'Pac couldn’t sit down for five minutes," Treach told MTV News. "He was always going, ’Yeah, everything good, good, good.’ When you listen to him and you see his demeanor, he was more or less, like, on watch. He had a deadline."

38. Eminem: "He covered such a broad perspective and there were so many different sides to him, but the best part about him overall was that he was a human being," he told Paper.

39. Omar Epps: "I saw him that night, actually," Epps told King, referencing the night that Tupac died. "I saw him literally a half hour before he was shot. ... We hadn’t seen each other in years; we hugged, asked ‘How’s your mother doing?’ Everything was great. Then I woke up at six in the morning and hear he had been shot."

40. Suge Knight: "You got a lot of people that like Tupac because he could rap. I like Tupac because of Pac, because of who he was," he told MTV News.

41. Mike Tyson: "He's going to last until the time this Earth comes to an end," he told the AP.

42. Eminem: "Regardless of how good a rapper someone is, it's easy for things to eventually get dated," he told Paper. "But when you make songs like Tupac did, songs that feel like something, that feeling never goes away."

43. Treach: "He was an actor, he was a musician ... anything you could put, if he wanted to do it, he could do that," he told MTV.

44. Afeni Shakur: "From the moment he was born, I measured his life in five-year periods," she recalled in Vanity Fair. "When he was five, I was so grateful. When he was 10, I thanked God he was 10. Fifteen, 20, 25, I was always amazed he’d survived. He was a gift."

45. Jada Pinkett Smith: "He left a very strong and powerful mark. People are still inspired by him. So he did his work," she told Stern.