R&B and hip-hop artists are in shock today as superstar manager Chris Lighty has ended his life at the age of 44. The founder of Violator Entertainment was found dead at his Bronx apartment from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
New York police responded to a call on Thursday morning and found Lighty dead at the scene, with a pistol nearby.
Lighty had managed an impressive list of talent including Mariah Carey, LL Cool J, Diddy, Missy Elliot and 50 Cent.
Tributes are flowing in from the artists who knew Lighty:
@rihanna: Rest peacefully Chris Lighty, my prayers go out to family and loved ones! Dear God please have mercy
@maryjblige: 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.
@Ludacris:R.I.P. Chris Lightly who always had the best energy every time I had an encounter with him. He will be missed http://instagr.am/p/O9lRxLwa0g/
@NICKIMINAJ: Another tragic & inconceivable loss for the culture. #RIPChrisLighty
@iamdiddy: In shock.
One of those responsible for giving Lighty his start in the business is hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, who, after hearing of his friend’s death wrote a blog calling him “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.”
The death is still under investigation, and Lighty is reported to have been arguing with his ex-wife shortly before putting the gun to his head.