WME has signed a management deal with the estate of the Notorious B.I.G.
After expanding into the celebrity estate and brand-management business with WME’s Legends group, the Hollywood agency has partnered with Voletta Wallace, the mother of the late rapper — who was born Christopher Wallace — as his family oversees his estate.
Wallace — also known as Biggie Smalls, Biggie, the Black Frank White and Big Poppa — was killed in 1997 in Los Angeles at age 24, but interest in his life and his Grammy-winning rap music remains strong. Emmett Malloy’s Netflix documentary Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell is the latest film about the Notorious B.I.G. told with the authorization of Wallace’s estate.
Other documentaries and films that chronicle his life include Fox Searchlight’s Notorious and Saban Films’ City of Lies, starring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker and produced by Voletta Wallace and B.I.G’s former manager Wayne Barrow.
In the mid-’90s, the Notorious B.I.G. was the top-selling male solo artist and rapper on U.S. pop and R&B charts. His legacy has been kept alive with posthumous releases like Life After Death, Born Again and Duets: The Final Chapter with his output garnering over 28 million RIAA-certified albums sold and 5 billion music streams worldwide.
The management deal with the songwriter, singer and record producer’s estate builds on WME’s existing roster of marquee estates, which includes those for Andy Kaufman, Eartha Kitt, Peter Tosh, the CBGB brand and Ram Dass’ Love Serve Remember Foundation.
WME also has longtime estate clients in Agatha Christie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Donna Summer, August Wilson, Isaac Asimov, Edward Albee, Abe Burrows and Terrence McNally.