Chris Lighty, the entertainment executive responsible for the successful careers of many successful musicians through his Violator companies, was found dead in his Bronx apartment today, an apparent victim of suicide. Lighty was 44.
Christ Lighty had a hand in the career development of several musicians and entertainment professionals, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip and LL Cool J. His Violator brand was as well known by hip hop music fans as some of the artists he managed, as the company racked up a string of successful clients througout the years.
News of Lighty’s death spread quickly through social media channels, as high profile artists took to sites like Twitter to express their grief. One well-quoted tweet from Rapper Fat Joe seemed to sum up the thoughts of many who worked with Lighty over the years:
R.I.P CHRIS LIGHTY THE MAN THAT SAVED MY LIFE!!!
— FAT JOE (@fatjoe) August 30, 2012
Sources told The Daily News that Lighty’s death, caused by a gunshot to the head, appeared to be self-inflicted, allegedly during an argument with his ex-wife.
Lighty may have had financial difficulties, the article claimed, quoting law enforcement sources who suggested Lighty may have owed millions to the IRS. Lighty and his wife split in November, 2011.
We will update this story as more becomes known. In the meantime, our condolences go out to friends, family and colleagues of Chris Lighty.