Chris Lighty, manager to rap and hip-hop icons like 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey, died Thursday in New York.
According to an NYPD spokesman, police found a 44-year old black male dead from a gunshot wound in his Bronx home. A firearm was recovered, but the police are still determining whether or not it was self-inflicted.
Investigators from NYPD's 50th precint are treating the death as an open case, but initial evidence suggests a suicide.
The New York coroner’s office said it had received a case involving a 44-year-old black male with the last name Lighty. However, the office will not have more information until Friday when an autopsy is performed.
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Lighty (second from the left) was the founder and head of Violator Entertainment, a management company, as well as former road manager for Boogie Down Productions. Violator told TheWrap they had no comment at this time.
Lighty began his career at Russell Simmons' Rush Management, and went on to launch his own shop. As manager to 50 Cent (ne Curtis Jackson), Lighty negotiated the rapper's lucrative deal with Vitmain Water, which netted both Jackson and Light millions when Coca-Cola bought Vitamin Water parent company Energy.
In addition to the artists he represented, Lighty worked with a bevy of other major figures in the hip-hop community, many of whom have already expressed their grief on Twitter.
New York-based rapper Fat Joe tweeted, “R.I.P CHRIS LIGHT THE MAN THAT SAVED MY LIFE!!!”
Music journalist, novelist and cultural commentator Toure posted, “Chris Lighty, smart and successful record exec, and an undeniably great guy, is dead. Self inflicted gunshot wound. Tragic.”
Ghostface Killah, a member of legendary east coast rap group Wu-Tang Clan, wrote, "Hard one to grab Yo damn.... My most humble prayers to the family of Chris Lighty!