Chris Lighty dead at just 44 is news that will hit hundreds of hip hop stars very hard this week. The man many deem responsible for the boom in commercial hip-hop at the turn of the century, was found dead outside his home in the Bronx after apparently turning his gun on himself, reports the UK's Guardian newspaper.
Lighty is known throughout the hip-hop world and beyond for exploiting the genre for every penny, setting up perfume lines, sponsorships, sportswear companies and label imprints for some of today's most recognisable musicians. He was also the manager of such stars as 50 Cent, Ja Rule and Mariah Carey, as well as occasionally taking to the mic prior to beginning his business ventures. Chris was a founding member of the Violators; from which he got the name of his company Violator Management, and worked with A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul as part of the New York rap crew, Native Tongues. Police found Lighty, who was 44, lying face up on the basement patio of his Bronx apartment in a pool of blood with a 9-mm. pistol at his side, sources have revealed. The music mogul was apparently involved in a heated argument with his estranged wife, Veronica, moments before he shot himself. Veronica filed for divorce form Lighty last year.
Since news of his passing, the Twitterverse has erupted with masses of people showing their respect to Lighty, and along with some of the people he has represented in the past, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, QUESTLOVE, Ghostface Killah, Chuck D, Rev Run, Childish Gambino, Mary J Blige, Fred Durst, Pete Wentz and Kim Kardashian, to name but a few, have also given their regards.