Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. (professionally known as Young Dolph) was fatally shot on November 17, 2021. The self-proclaimed King of Memphis was just 36 years old.
Young Dolph’s surviving family members are dealing with his sudden death. Mia Jaye, Dolph’s longtime partner and mother of his children, spoke to ABC News Live Prime about the tragic loss.
“It’s been extremely difficult, just having to pick up the pieces and to find the strength for my children,” Mia Jaye told ABC anchor Linsey Davis. “We felt we had a duty to them, to really protect them, to raise them, to just do so much for them, and together.”
Jaye continued, “Now that he’s no longer here, it’s just very tough for me to be strong for them and also be strong for myself because that was my soulmate… We were doing things like planning our wedding… To find strength in it all is very, very difficult for me.”
Young Dolph was killed while buying cookies at the Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies bakery in Memphis. Law enforcement officials took 23-year-old Justin Johnson and 32-year-old Cornelius Smith into custody in connection to the murder. Authorities also charged Shondale Barnett, 27, with being an accessory after the fact.
Prior to his death, Young Dolph released numerous music projects such as 2016’s King of Memphis, 2017’s Bulletproof, and 2017’s Thinking Out Loud. 2020’s Rich Slave peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200, Dolph’s highest placement on the chart.
Young Dolph presented over a dozen solo mixtapes. He also frequently partnered with Key Glock for full-length, collaborative bodies of work. The duo dropped Dum and Dummer in 2019 which was followed by Dum and Dummer 2 in 2021.