Grammy-winning rapper Lil' Kim was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in prison and fined $50,000 for lying to a federal grand jury to protect friends involved in a 2001 shootout outside a Manhattan radio station.
It was far less than the 20-year maximum that Lil' Kim, 29, could have received and the nearly three-year sentence prosecutors had sought.
U.S. District Judge Gerard Lynch said he had considered the public perception of sending a young black entertainer to prison far longer than Martha Stewart, who spent five months in prison and remains under house arrest.
Many rappers have served time in prison, but Lil' Kim, who was convicted in March, is the first big-name female artist to do so.
Before the sentence was handed down, Lil' Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, spoke briefly, her voice breaking. She admitted lying to the grand jury and at her trial. "At the time I thought it was the right thing to do, but I now know it was wrong," she said.
She also asked the judge to weigh more than just this one event. "I have worked hard my entire life for everything I have, everything I have accomplished," Lil' Kim said. "I ask you to consider my entire life's work and not just the days in the grand jury and on the witness stand in the courtroom. I'm a God-fearing, good person."
The rapper must report to prison by Sept. 19. Her lawyers are hoping she will be sent to the facility in Danbury, Conn., so that she can be closer to her mother. She didn't say anything as she left the courthouse.
Lil' Kim was the companion of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. As a solo artist, she has become known for her revealing outfits and raunchy lyrics. She won a Grammy in 2001 for her part in the hit remake of "Lady Marmalade."
The rapper told the grand jury she did not notice two of her close friends at the scene of the shootout -- her manager, Damion Butler, and Suif Jackson, known as "Gutta." Both have pleaded guilty to gun charges.
But trial jurors saw radio station security photos that depicted Butler opening a door for the rap star, and two witnesses who made records with Lil' Kim said they saw her at the station with Butler and Jackson.
The gun battle happened outside WQHT-FM in New York when Lil' Kim's entourage crossed paths with a rival rap group, Capone-N-Noreaga.
Lil' Kim's group confronted the others about the Capone-N-Noreaga song "Bang, Bang" that contained an insult to Lil' Kim from rival Foxy Brown. One man was hurt in the shootout that followed.