Prominent Hip pop manager Chris Lighty found dead: reports

Hip hop manager Chris Lighty, who in the past handled high profile careers of performers such as Mariah Carey, 50 cents and Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, died on Thursday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head, media outlets reported.

Chris was the long term manager of many high profile artists is said to have commited suicide at the age of 44.

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Music publication Billboard said it had confirmed the death through an unnamed source at Lighty’s Violator Records & Management, which he founded and where he was chief executive.

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The New York Daily News reported that Lighty, 44, was found dead in his apartment in New York City’s Bronx borough from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

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Representatives for Lighty could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, for whom Lighty worked early in his career at Simmons’ Rush Management, released a statement on GlobalGrind.com calling the manager “a hip-hop hero and one of its greatest architects.”

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“(Lighty) 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,” Simmons wrote.

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Lighty gained prominence through handling artists such as Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot and Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs through his Violator company.

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After Violator merged with Larry Mestel’s Primary Wave Talent Management firm in September 2011, the company signed on to work with artists such as 50 Cent and Cee Lo Green on their branding and endorsements.

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Billboard included Lighty on its Urban Power List earlier this year along with Mestel and Michael “Blue Williams” as part of the executive team of Primary Violator Management.

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The hip-hop community has been left devastated by the loss of one of its most beloved managers, who founded Violator Management.

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The formidable current roster of talent signed to Violator Management also includes rappers Ja Rule, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes, singer Macy Gray and up and coming producer Swizz Beatz.

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Chris Lighty died this morning after shooting himself in the head, following an argument with his ex wife.

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You only have to take a quick look at the tweets that have been pouring in from hip-hop artists to see what a beloved and important figure Lighty has been to so many in the industry.

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‘Lean Back’ rapper Fat Joe, who was once signed to Violator, said “R.I.P CHRIS LIGHTY THE MAN THAT SAVED MY LIFE!!!”

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Rapper and House star Omar Epps said “Chris Lighty was a pioneer in hip hop & the music biz period! He was a good man & a good friend. Prayers for his family & his children..”

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Legendary alternative rapper Talib Kweli said “Rest in peace Chris Lighty. Your words and your vision are constant inspiration to me. Forever.”

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In an extended tweet, ‘I’m On One’ producer DJ Khaled said “R.I.P chris lighty!! Chris is hip hop, a friend & a gr8 person!”

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“When I came in the game he acknowledged me from the beginning & aspired 4 me 2 B gr8! Chris always wanted 2 help everyone! & did! Much luv 2 the family & my prayers R w/ them!”

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