50 Cent, Chris Lighty (photo: Denise Truscello, Wire Image)Chris Lighty, arguably one of the biggest artist managers in hip-hop, died Thursday, a spokesperson for the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed to Yahoo! Music. He was 44.
While the coroner office representative could not confirm any details surrounding the death, sources told the New York Daily News that the mogul shot himself while arguing with his ex-wife.
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Lighty, who has directed the careers of Diddy, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Mariah Carey and 50 Cent, died around 11:30 a.m. in his Bronx apartment, police told the Daily News.
A .9mm handgun is believed to be the weapon used in the killing, Chief police spokesperson Paul Browne told the Associated Press.
Several artists on Lighty's Violator management roster mourned his death via Twitter.
Reverend Run's son Diggy Simmons said he was "Still in shock" and described his bond with Lighty. "More than just my manager but my family. Love you and gonna miss you Chris. R.I.P." he wrote.
Chicago rapper Twista was speechless. "I am at a lost of words chris lighty was the only dude in this game that kept it 100.. #RIP chris lighty," he wrote.
Saigon also conveyed his regards. "I had many managers over the course of my career, But Chris Lighty share[d] the most knowledge with me… R.I.P Baby Chris.. Hip Hop is crying," he said.
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R&B and gospel singer Kelly Price — who loss her good friend Whitney Houston in February -- offered words of comfort via her Facebook fan page. "Today we lost Entertainment Industry giant Chris Lighty," she wrote. "It's so hard to hear of another one who isn't with us and possibly because he lost hope. Please everyone, let's remember that EVERYBODY needs hope, peace and most importantly to know they are loved. NO AMOUNT OF MONEY OR FAME can replace that. Say a prayer for the Lighty family, the Violator Records family and everyone who is touched by this tragedy. RIP Chris!"
On Tuesday, Lighty retweeted a message about life. It was his last tweet: "Life is about perspective. It's not what you see, but how you see it. What you see is what you get."
According to the New York Daily News, Lighty may have been having financial problems. Law enforcement sources told the paper that he was believed to owe about $5 million in IRS debt.