Megan Thee Stallion’s parents both died before her career took off in 2020
Megan Thee Stallion owes her strength to her parents, Holly Thomas and Joseph Pete Jr.
The “Hiss” rapper was born to Holly and Joseph on Feb. 15, 1995, and was raised in Houston, Texas. Though Joseph was imprisoned until Megan was 8 years old, she still had a close relationship with both her parents.
However, in her freshman year of high school, Megan lost her dad. Eight years later, in March 2019, her mom, who managed her career, died from cancer. Still, Megan credits them for where she is today.
When accepting the 2021 Glamour Woman of the Year Award, she teared up during her speech, thanking her late mother for raising her.
"I really want to thank my mom," she said. "I want to thank my mom because she taught me how to be the woman that I am. She was my best friend, my manager, she was my everything, and I know she's proud of me today.”
From teaching her about her self-worth to managing her career, here’s everything to know about Megan Thee Stallion’s parents, Holly Thomas and Joseph Pete Jr.
Joseph was in jail until Megan was 8 years old
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2020, Megan described her dad as a “full-time hustler.” However, growing up, Megan didn’t get to see her dad as much.
“My dad was definitely my best friend, but for the first eight years of my life, he was in jail,” she shared in a 2020 interview with Marie Claire. “When he got out, we were together every day.”
Joseph taught her how to value herself in relationships
Megan told Marie Claire that it was her dad who taught her self-worth and what to look for in relationships after she saw how he was with her mother.
“I saw how he treated my mom, and I saw how my dad treated me,” she said. “I have so many strong positive influences. I’m not going to lower my standards.”
Holly was a rapper
While Joseph may have taught Megan how to value herself, it was her mom who passed down her musical skills. Holly went by the rapper name Holly-Wood and made music between 2001 and 2007, with her young daughter listening to her rap in the studio.
“Holly-Wood is the first female rapper I’ve ever known, I’ve ever saw, so I’m thinking like, ‘OK, yeah, this is normal. Everybody’s doing this,’ ” Megan told Vulture in 2019.
She added, “So when she would take me to the studio with her, she would think I’m in the next room doing little kid stuff, coloring, watching TV, and I’m really like ear to the door, thinking, ‘Yeah, uh-huh I’ma do that, too.’ ”
Megan elaborated that growing up her mom let her listen to Biggie and Pimp C, which inspired her rapping style later in life. She also would steal her mom’s instrumentals to practice writing on them.
“She would be like, ‘Megan, have you seen my CDs?’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? No,’ ” she said.
Her day job was as a bill collector, and for a long time, Megan would watch her mother juggling both. “I would see her fit in writing after work and before work,” she told Marie Claire. “I’m used to seeing that work ethic.”
Holly became Megan’s manager after she realized she was a talented rapper
The first time Megan told her mom she wanted to be a rapper, Holly didn’t believe that her daughter even had the skills to pursue it — which Megan quickly proved otherwise.
“I went home and told her I could rap, and she was like, ‘No you can’t,’ ” she told Rolling Stone in 2019. “I’m like, ‘Yes I can.’ I started rapping and she was like ‘Oh my God! No, you not coming out ’til you’re 21!”
While her mom was taken aback by her raunchy lyrics, she quit her day job to become Megan’s manager and was by her side when she signed her first record deal. Though the two sometimes fought over the details, the “Hot Girl Summer” rapper said she’d rather “get into it with my mama than get into it with a stranger.”
Both of Megan’s parents died while she was young
When Megan was a freshman in high school and just 15 years old, her father died. In March 2019, Holly also died from brain cancer.
In August 2022, the “Body” rapper joined The Ebro Show where she discussed how she was coping three years after her passing.
“At this point in my life, I really realized that my mama was really driving the car for a long time,” she said. “I didn't even have to think about too many things when mama was with me. I feel like it is just recently that it's clicking to me, like who can I ask anything to?"
The “WAP” rapper also added that before she died, her mother told her to keep going and not let her death slow her down.
"She was like, 'Just because I'm sick that don't mean yous not supposed to be going to do your work. You got to a show tomorrow.' I had a show in California for the first time ... it was at Diesel,” she said.
Megan added, "It was just over so quick and I was just like, 'Oh my God, what do I do?' She said, 'Don't stop,' so then I just took that literally. And we're here today."
Megan got her bachelor’s degree to honor her mother
Finishing school was something that was very important to Holly and Megan’s great-grandmother, who died just weeks after Holly. While Megan dropped out of Texas Southern University as her career took off, she made it a priority to still graduate — which she did in December 2021.
"I want to get my degree because I really want my mom to be proud," she told PEOPLE in 2020. "She saw me going to school before she passed."
She added, “My grandmother that's still alive used to be a teacher, so she's on my butt about finishing school. I'm doing it for me, but I'm also doing it for the women in my family who made me who I am today."
She started a foundation in her parents' honor
To mark her 27th birthday in February 2022, Megan started a non-profit organization, Pete and Thomas Foundation, that generates awareness around campaigns and programmatic activities with focuses on education and housing.
"Launching the Pete and Thomas Foundation is easily one of the most significant endeavors that I'll ever be part of in my career," the "Captain Hook" rapper said in a press release. "My family raised me to help others and give back, so I'm incredibly proud to be in a position to accomplish that goal. I have a responsibility to use my platform to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those who may not have access to resources and support services."
Nicki Minaj dissed Megan’s relationship with her mom amid ongoing drama between the two rappers
In the song, Megan raps about Megan’s Law, the policy that requires sex offenders to register with the state, seemingly referring to Petty’s registration as a level two sex offender in New York.
“Big foot, but you still a small fry / Swearin' on your dead mother when you lie,” Minaj rapped.
Minaj also implied that a second installment would be coming that focused more on Megan's family, rapping, “Ho, the things that you've lied about / Even pertaining to your mom / You don't want them out, okay? / Now, since you think it's funny to speak about people's families / We'll all join in / We'll all play the reindeer games,” in the outro of the song.
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