Madame Noire reported on the sad news yesterday that 44-year-old hip-hop exec Chris Lighty had died from an apparent suicide at his home in the Bronx, NY. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. A gun was found near the body.
The founder of Violator Management and the man behind talent like Diddy and Mariah Carey, Lighty is remembered for his business acumen, having worked on some of the biggest deals in entertainment. He collaborated with 50 Cent on his VitaminWater deal, bringing the rapper and the brand together for both commercials and the Formula 50 beverage. In addition, he negotiated an agreement that brought 50 Cent $100 million when the company was sold to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion. Lighty also received a piece of that deal, Forbes reports. He continued to work with the hip-hop artist on a deal with his Street King energy drink line.
Lighty also negotiated the merger of his company with Primary Wave Talent Management last year, creating Primary Violator Management and seemingly limitless potential for future endeavors.
Lighty came from humble beginnings, growing up with five siblings and a single mom in the Bronx River Housing Projects. He got his start hauling crates for DJ Red Alert. Despite the lucrative work he did, the media is reporting that he owed $5 million to the IRS.
He reportedly killed himself after an argument with his wife Veronica, who filed for divorce last year. Click here for some of the celebrity reaction to the shocking news.