The hip-hop community and music industry at large are in shock following the tragic death of mogul Chris Lighty .
Lighty, who was born Darrell Lighty, managed the careers of huge stars like Mariah Carey, Diddy, Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J through his management company, Violator .
50 Cent was another one of Lighty’s star clients; Lighty helped Fif build a successful, multifaceted career in music and entertainment. “Chris has been an important part of my business and personal growth for a decade,” 50 Cent said in a statement issued to Billboard. “He was a good friend and advisor who helped me develop as an artist and businessman. My prayers are with his family. He will be greatly missed.”
Police responded to a call at Lighty’s Bronx, New York, home at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Thursday and found the music mogul with a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead on the scene, and police have told MTV News that the wounds appear to be self-inflicted.
Since the news broke, there has been an outpouring of support and well-wishes on Twitter. “Love & heartfelt prayers go out to Chris Lighty’s family & all of us whose lives he touched,” Carey messaged late last night. “Words cannot express the sadness we share today.”
According to the New York Daily News, sources say Lighty killed himself after an argument with his wife, Veronica, who filed for divorce last year. “I’m tired of this,” Lighty is reported to have said before shooting himself in the head. (The New York Police Department could not confirm this information with MTV News.)
Love & heartfelt prayers go out to Chris Lighty’s family & all of us whose lives he touched. Words cannot express the sadness we share today
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) August 31, 2012
Law enforcement sources also told the Daily News that Lighty’s wife told police that her husband had acquired a sizable tax debt totaling $5 million, though the Associated Press reports that Lighty had paid most of it off, owing only $330,000 in state and federal taxes.
Whatever the circumstances, Lighty was a beloved figure in the music industry. “R.I.P. Chris Lighty. Gone way to soon. This is unbelievable. My prayers go out to the Lighty Family,” Mary J. Blige tweeted Thursday night.
Diddy was both saddened and shocked. “R.I.P. Chris Lighty. He Was A Dear Friend Of Mine And I Still Can’t Believe It,” he wrote Thursday.
There is no quantifying the number of lives Lighty touched; his name became a top trending topic on Twitter after what seemed like the entire hip-hop community offered their condolences and expressed their grief one 140-character message at a time. “Chris Lighty U taught me 2 B Fearless! U help build So many Artist Careers,” Missy Elliott wrote early Friday morning (August 31). “This is such a sad time 4 all the lives u touched.”
What do you remember most about Chris Lighty? Share your stories in the comments.