EXCLUSIVE: Tupac's Prom Date Spills On Their Fun Night
By Isha Thorpe
September 13, 2016
On September 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur tragically died at the young age of 25 and the rap game was changed forever.
The rapper was leaving a boxing match with Death Row CEO Suge Knight, when a white Cadillac pulled up beside his car and someone inside the other car began firing shots at Pac and Suge. Pac would then be rushed to the emergency room and placed in critical condition -- one of his lungs even had to be removed.
Sadly, six days after this shooting, Pac succumbed to his bullet injuries and passed away. This was exactly 20 years ago, yet the music industry continues to make the MC live on forever.
Not only was the rapper an incredible, influential, timeless artist, but he was an amazing human being. Just ask Heather L., Pac’s prom date and former high school friend.
Both attended Baltimore School for the Arts as teens, and iHeartRadio spoke to her about going to her high school senior prom at The Belvedere Hotel with the rap legend. She talked about how the night started off kind of rocky -- but ended up being great, how she reacted when he was murdered, and more.
Check out iHeartRadio’s interview with Heather L. below.
Can you tell me how you and Tupac knew each other? Where'd you meet?
We went to Baltimore School for the Arts together. We were pretty much just friends, although he was my senior prom date.
How was that?
It was great. We had a really good time. It was a pretty crazy story actually, because we rented a limousine. We went with another couple. The limousine picked me up at my house first. The limo picked me up, picked him up, and we [picked] the other two people up. We went to Little Italy's for dinner. The limo stood us up. It never came back to take us to the prom. We ended up having to get a van [to] come out to pick us up, to take us from the dinner place to the prom. After that, we finally got the limo back again. It took us from the prom to [a] party at a friend’s house. Then we went to Tupac's house afterwards.
What was everyone's reaction when the limo didn't come? Did just brush it off, or was he more level-headed?
Everyone's facial expression was like, ‘What's going on? Where is it? We just got stood up by our limo?’ He was pretty cool then. We were all kind of like ‘what the heck?’ It was pretty funny.
Who asked whom to the prom?
I asked him because it was senior prom. He is a year younger than me. We were really good friends. Neither of us had a boyfriend or a girlfriend at the time. He had recently broken up with somebody. I was single, so I said, ‘Do you want to go with me and we'll go as just friends?’ He was super cute about it because he wrote me a letter saying, ‘Don't worry, I'm not going to live up to my reputations.’ He was known in school -- he was very charismatic, and he dated a lot of people. He was known for basically hooking up with a lot of people.
What kind of prom dress did you wear?
It's a handmade dress. It was literally made from scratch by my stepmom. I had a dream of the dress I wanted to wear, and I described it to her. This was back in the late 80's, so you could imagine the styles were different back then. They had big poofy shoulders – really bright turquoise blue. It's a one-of-a-kind dress. He [Tupac] just had on a regular tux.
How was it when you guys actually walked into prom?
We were all excited that we finally got there. We were stranded for so long, and we were late because of what happened with the limousine. Everyone was really happy to see us. We were both really popular in high school.
Our school was sort of special. It was really small. Everybody knew everybody. It's not like most schools. It was very different than any other school I know today. It was just super small. It was like one big happy family.
We danced together [and] we danced with other people because we were just friends. We did end up hanging out afterwards, and we were together for the rest of the evening. I ended up staying over his house that night and going home the next morning.
What was your favorite memory from the night?
Oh gosh I don't know. I'd probably say the party afterwards.
At his house?
I don't know. I don't know if I want to talk about that too much. *laughter*
You also said that he wrote you notes, and he was very romantic, right?
Yeah, he was always poetic. Everything he wrote was very poetic.
What are some surprising facts about Tupac that people would be shocked to hear?
When I knew him, he never differentiated much between black and white. When he dated people, he dated who he wanted to. There was no, ‘has to be a black girl, or has to be a…’ It was never like that. Our school was kind of totally separated from that anyways. There was no color, there was no race at Baltimore School for the Arts. [It] really was a special place.
What's the one thing that you loved most about him?
I would say his charisma combined with his heart. He was a sweet, loving guy, and he was really cool.
Yeah, very different from how the media sometimes portrayed him.
Very different. In fact, I remember when I heard about everything that was happening to him ... he was accused of sexual harassment and all of that. I was like, ‘There's no way.’ I didn't believe it for a second because it wasn't the guy that I knew.
What were your exact emotions when you found out that he passed away?
I was very sad, I was crying. Even though I hadn't seen him for a long time, I still considered him a good friend of mine. I still believed that if I had run into him a few days before, he would come up and hug me, and everything would've been the same. He had become a big star by then. He wouldn't have changed at all.
Photos: Courtesy of Heather L.