Chris Lighty, who handled the likes Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Ja Rule, Mobb Deep, Missy Elliott and LL Cool J, was dead in an apparent suicide. The Hip-Hop mogul was found in his Bronx apartment in New York City on Thursday, August 30.
The founder of Violator Management was found lying face-up with a gunshot to the head that appeared to be self-inflicted. New York police spokesperson, Paul Browne, said there was a 9 mm handgun next to his body and no sign of forced entry. He was 44 and left behind two children.
Chris was in the middle of divorce proceedings against his estranged wife Veronica. According to a New York Daily News source, he was engaged in a heated argument with her outside his apartment in South Riverdale about 11:30 A.M. before he shot himself.
In addition to dealing with divorce battle, Chris had financial woes. He reportedly owed more than $330,000 in state and federal taxes and $5 million to IRS. He allegedly sold his apartment in Manhattan for $5.6 million to help clear his IRS liens.
He was mourned by his friends and colleagues in Hip-Hop community including 50 Cent. "Chris has been an important part of my business and personal growth for a decade," he said. "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."
Rihanna tweeted, "Rest peacefully Chris Lighty, my prayers go out to family and loved ones! Dear God please have mercy." Mary J. Blige added in solemn note, "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."
Nicki Minaj posted, "Another tragic & inconceivable loss for the culture. #RIPChrisLighty." Soulja Boy joined the mourners, "R.I.P my manager Chris Lighty, I know you're in a better place. this s*** got me so f***ed up big bro we just talked on the phone 2 days ago."
P. Diddy said he was "in shock." Fat Joe remembered the late music manager as "the man that saved my life!" Ludacris tweeted, "R.I.P. Chris Lightly who always had the best energy every time I had an encounter with him. He will be missed." Prodigy of Mobb Deep also posted, "My love and condolences to the entire Lighty family. chris was always there for me when i needed him and always pushed for mobb deep."