(NEW YORK) — Violator Management and Records founder Chris Lighty, who managed the careers of Mariah Carey, Diddy, 50 Cent and others, has been found dead, according to the New York Daily News. Sources tell the newspaper that police discovered Lighty in his Bronx apartment on Thursday morning; he apparently shot himself in the head. He was 44.
Authorities say that Chris, who divorced his wife last year, may have been burdened by financial troubles. That’s according to the Daily News, which also reports that he owed about $5 million to the IRS.
Chris’ friends in the industry took to Twitter to remember him on Thursday. Among them were music exec Jeff Robinson, who tweeted, “So very sad about Chris lighty..Great long time friend,fellow bronxite and peer…incredible businessman and person.”
He added, “Its very sad..noone knows what pressures we all really have behind the masks put on for the public and even family and friends..”
Russell Simmons, who at one time worked alongside Chris at Def Jam, issued a statement on Thursday, writing in his note, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of a hip-hop hero. Chris Lighty has been a dear friend of mine since he was a kid. Was a brilliant partner in business and I was so proud of all that he had accomplished.”
Lighty had also worked with Busta Rhymes, Fantasia, Ja Rule, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, Nas and Q-Tip.
Here’s what others in the music business had to say:
Fat Joe: “R.I.P CHRIS LIGHTY THE MAN THAT SAVED MY LIFE!!!” and “I Would Be Nothing Without YOU!!! My Kids Appreciate YOU God Bless Chris Lighty”
Ghostface Killah: “Hard one to grab Yo damn…. My most humble prayers to the family of Chris Lighty!”
Chuck D: “R I P Chris Lighty SMH to the mongrels that have made the BLACKmusic industry a depressing game to drag such good cats into a pit of bullsht”
DJ Drama: “wow. no words. RIP Chris Lighty.”
Ludacris: R.I.P. Chris Lightly who always had the best energy every time I had an encounter with him. He will be missed.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brian Stelter, CNN
Noelle Baldwin, Deseret News
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com