Chris Lighty, the hip-hop mogul who worked with stars like 50 Cent, Diddy, Ja Rule and Mariah Carey, died this morning from an apparent suicide.
According to the NY Daily News, Lighty shot himself in the head while arguing with his ex-wife in his apartment in the New York. Police did not say what caused the argument but did say that Lighty may have been dealing with financial troubles. PopCrush reports that Lighty owed nearly $5 million to the IRS.
Lighty founded Violator Entertainment and worked with artists like 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Nas, Ja Rule, And LL Cool J. Lighty also worked with Russell Simmons’ RUSH Management Firm at the start of his career and helped several artists sign on to Def Jam Records.
Lighty’s impact in the hip-hop world was immediately felt when news of his death broke on Twitter.
Musicians like Fat Joe, Ghostface Killah, and Mary J. Blige all posted messages on the social networking site in honor of Lighty.
R.I.P CHRIS LIGHTY THE MAN THAT SAVED MY LIFE!!!
— FAT JOE (@fatjoe) August 30, 2012
Hard one to grab Yo damn…. My most humble prayers to the family of Chris Lighty! — Ghostface Killah (@GhostfaceKillah) August 30, 2012
U never know what can send a person over the edge or make them want 2 keep living. take it easy on people. We are so fragile. — Mary J. Blige (@maryjblige) August 30, 2012
Rest peacefully Chris Lighty, my prayers go out to family and loved ones! Dear God please have mercy
— Rihanna (@rihanna) August 30, 2012
Russell Simmons, who worked with Lighty at RUSH Management, told the Global Grind: “He is an amazing example of how a passionate kid from the street can go to the most even-keeled, smart, thoughtful manager in the business and a generous philanthropist. He was loved by everyone who knew him, including me. He will be missed greatly by all of us.”