The Tory Lanez Story: Heres How Daystar Shemuel Shua Peterson Became A Hollywood Star

There aren’t many music artists with a ‘street’ image who can deliver a ruthless sixteen-bar verse lethal enough to send most rappers back to the drawing board, then switch to smooth, sultry R&B music vocals that put him on collaborations with the likes of the ultra-talented singer/dancer Chris Brown and T-Pain. Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Tory Lanez was born Daystar Shemuel Shua Peterson on July 27, 1992 to his father, Sonstar Peterson, who is from Barbados, and his mother Luella, who was from Curaçao. Unfortunately, Tory’s mother passed away from a rare disease when he was just eleven years old.

Naturally, the untimely loss greatly affected the young Daystar, who often suffered from depression and anger issues. But it was in his search for an outlet to release those negative emotions that he found his passion and talent for music. That amazing talent has lead him to collaborate with some of the biggest names in the mainstream music industry, such as Soulja Boy, Sean Kingston, rapper Meek Mill, and more seasoned artists like Slim Thug. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the rapper has amassed a net worth of $4 million, albeit amid major controversy, most recently involving the female rapper Megan Thee Stallion. As we take a look at the success story of Tory Lanez, we’ll learn that in the world of major record labels, even your independence comes at a price.


A Diamond In The Rough

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After his father remarried following the death of his mother, the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia. And by 2006, he moved to Queens, New York to live with a cousin. But once again, due to his behavioral issues, he was sent live with his grandmother in Toronto who wasn’t too eager to take care of him. Feeling neglected and rejected by family at the age of fifteen, the controversial music artist was forced to fend for himself while living with three older men while “having to fend for myself and being in a situation where there was no dad, no grandma and no mom to help you,” Lanez said in a XXL magazine interview. He would remain in this environment until the age of eighteen, but even in this dark night of the soul in Tory’s life, he still had a meal ticket to success – his rapping skills.

Realizing his talent and versatility, Tory quit school at the age of sixteen to focus fulltime on his rap career and began performing at outdoor concerts. By 2009, and at only seventeen years old, he released a mixtape titled T.L 2 T.O which caught the attention of American-Jamaican singer and rapper, Sean Kingston, which marked the beginning of his breakthrough. After releasing four mixtapes that were well-received, Kingston invited Tory to sign to his record label, Time is Money Entertainment. He then released a series of mixtapes under Kingston’s label, which included Chixtape, Sincerely Tory, Conflicts of My Soul : The 416 Story, and Lost Cause.

After gaining a buzz, he released his debut studio album, I Told You, under Interscope and Mad Love Records. The album, released in 2016, sold 500,000 records, according to Best Selling Albums, going Gold and reaching number one on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart and number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. While it was nowhere as close in sales to R&B singer John Legend’s top-selling albums, his R&B singles were definitely getting under the skin of the ladies, in a good way!  Hit singles from the album Say It and LUV went 3X Platinum and 2X Platinum respectively, with both songs being nominated for a Grammy in 2017 for Best R&B Song, according to Flaunt. But despite the success, Tory was only just getting started.

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The Journey From Contracted To Independent

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Although Lanez was an undeniable success and fan favorite while signed as an artist to Interscope and Benny Blanco’s Mad Love Records, he sought to pursue more entrepreneurial ventures after his contracts ended in 2020. The same year, he gave fans The Toronto 3 which was his last tape with Interscope, as well as Chixtape 5 being his last project under Mad Love Records, and featured artists such as R&B singer Ashanti, rappers Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Fabolous, Chris Brown, and Trey Songs. Chixtape 5 made it to number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling over 84,000 copies in the first week.

True to his word, he created his own record label called One Umbrella Records which he manages on his own, signing acts such as Melii, Papi Yerr, and Mariah The Scientist. His fifth studio album, Daystar, was released in September 2020 under his own label, One Umbrella Records, and sold roughly 36,000 units, making it the lowest first-week unit sales total of his career.

XXL Magazine believes an outstanding reason for the record low sales could be the fact that Tory rapped about his innocence in the Megan Thee Stallion incident that took place on July 12, 2020 over their romantic entanglements, for which Tory was recently found guilty of in December 2022. The Canadian rapper was found guilty of three felony counts: assault with a semiautomatic handgun, carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence, according to The New York Times. Tory is said to be facing up to 20 years in prison with the possibility of deportation to Canada upon release.

Life In The Fast ‘Lanez’

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The sentencing has caused a massive uproar in the entertainment industry with heated opinions being voiced on both sides. Some believe that the entire fiasco was an act of revenge because Tory chose to leave the Interscope, which is a major record label similar to rapper Jay-Z’s Roc Nation record label, to which Megan is signed. It was also reported by Tory’s father, Sonstar Peterson, after the sentencing that Tory rejected an offer to sign a contract with Roc Nation, and that was the reason behind an elaborate set up to get him framed, tossed in jail, and have his career ruined.

Tory has amassed $4 million over the course of his career, and did so wearing multiple hats of a rapper, singer, record producer, fashion designer, and video director. He managed to gain even more recognition for his feuds with rappers like the fellow Canadian rapper/singer Drake, as well as Joyner Lucas, which both ended amicably.  Aside from his many chart-topping singles and his One Umbrella record label, he also earns his millions from his own clothing line called Forever Umbrella.

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Sources: Celebrity Net Worth, Best Selling Albums, Flaunt, XXL Magazine, The New York Times

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