For better or for worse, our culture is fascinated
by celebrities who turn criminal. But it’s hard to believe someone so talented,
so rich, and so famous could throw it all away and land themselves in the slammer. Sure, there are some celebrities that think
they’re above the law, and occasionally stars don’t end up serving their sentences. But in reality, plenty of famous folks do
get convicted for their terrible deeds. From music industry heavyweight Phil Spector
to rapper Vybz Kartel, here are the musicians who are currently behind bars…and could
be for a very long time. DMX With his gravelly voice, aggressive style,
and obsession with dogs, DMX became one of the hottest rappers of the late ’90s and early
2000s. But one of his biggest hits, “X Gon’ Give
It to Ya,” is evidently not about paying taxes to the government. Billboard reported that in November 2017,
DMX, who’s real name is Earl Simmons, pleaded guilty to tax evasion after a federal investigation
revealed that he owed more than $1.7 million in unpaid taxes. According to Billboard, he was sentenced in
early 2018 to one year behind bars. DMX may be jammed up legally, but he’s apparently
still on-brand. At his sentencing, the rapper reportedly requested
to hear his own song, “Slippin’,” before he…faced the music. C-Murder For a hot minute in the late ’90s and early
2000s, the rap world was dominated by the No Limit label. Founded by Master P, the label generated big
hits for P and for his brothers Silkk the Shocker and C-Murder, who’s real name is Corey
Miller. According to, C-Murder attended a
rap battle at a Louisiana club in 2002. Also at the club: 16-year-old fan Steve Thomas. But at some point, a brawl broke out. And according to MTV News, a jury determined
that Miller delivered a fatal gunshot to the teen, and was later sentenced to life behind
bars. “This is Jefferson Correctional Center. They got me for second degree murder. Something I didn’t do.” But fate may change for the rapper. According to XXL, as of July 2018, “Both key witnesses in the trial of C-Murder
for his alleged role in a fatal 2002 nightclub shooting have recanted their testimony identifying
the rapper born Corey Miller as the gunman.” According to the mag, C-Murder’s attorney
is petitioning the court for a new trial. Phil Spector One of the most influential musical architects
of all time, in the ’60s, Phil Spector’s “wall of sound” production style influenced the
sound of major bands like The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones. According to MentalFloss, he also allegedly
waved guns around the studio to intimidate artists, reportedly taking aim at John Lennon,
Leonard Cohen, Debbie Harry, and the Ramones. According to The Telegraph, he also allegedly
kept his wife, Ronettes singer Ronnie Spector, imprisoned in their home. This disturbing backstory came to a tragic
head one night in February 2003. According to the Los Angeles Times, Spector’s
chauffeur, who was waiting outside the home, confirmed via testimony: “[…] Spector emerged holding a revolver. […] Spector told him, ‘I think I killed
somebody.'” 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson was dead. That same month, she had met Spector while
working at LA’s House of Blues, and he allegedly convinced her to go home with him, according
to The Guardian. Spector’s first trial ended in a hung jury,
but the LA Times reported that in 2009, he was convicted of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison and won’t
be eligible for parole until 2027. Bobby Shmurda Brooklyn rapper and viral dance creator Bobby
Shmurda made a huge splash in the music industry in 2014. His breakout track was not only a top 10 hit,
but the dance he created for the video became a popular meme. “Lotta people going around talkin bout grown
man don’t dance, gangsters don’t dance. I dance all day.” But another place Shmurda was allegedly influential
was within a New York street organization called GS9 that was associated with drugs
and violent crime. According to the New York Daily News, Shmurda
was arrested in June 2014, for allegedly having a gun at a friend’s Brooklyn apartment. He reportedly claimed the weapon was just
a prop, saying, “I use my gun for videos — I’m a rapper.” In September 2016, Shmurda reached a deal
in court, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of criminal possession
of a weapon in exchange for a seven-year sentence, according to the New York Daily News. Shmurda claimed in a 2018 interview that he
could be released early, in 2020. Vybz Kartel He helped popularize the amped-up form of
reggae known as dancehall. Vybz Kartel has also collaborated with the
likes of Rihanna, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, and Pitbull. His track “Rampling Shop” was a U.S. radio
hit, even though it was banned in his native Jamaica for obscene lyrics. But that’s far from the most controversial
moment in Kartel’s life. In 2011, police alleged Kartel killed and
mutilated a member of his inner circle, Clive “Lizard” Williams, because he believed Lizard
stole two guns from him and other members of his crew, according to The Guardian. After a 65-day trial, reportedly the longest
in Jamaican history, Kartel was sentenced to life behind bars, with a parole hearing
in 2049. Three members of Kartel’s crew were also sentenced.