Chris Lighty

Seth Browarnik/

Chris Lighty was tragically found dead Thursday of what has been ruled a suicide by the New York Medical Examiner's Office.

Friends and industry heads knew him, but just who was the 44-year-old hip-hop mogul who described himself as a "Husband*Father*Leader" in his Twitter bio?

Here's everything you need to know about the late, great Chris Lighty.

Dreamer and Believer: Per his 2008 Crains profile, Lighty and his five younger siblings were raised by a single mother in the Bronx. He told the site his exit strategy from "crack city" was success in the music business.

On the Grind: Although he was offered a college scholarship, Lighty needed to earn money for his family. Besides doing electrical work, he "carried crates of records for top hip-hop DJ Red Alert" in his spare time, which in 1988 led to a gig working for Russell Simmons.

Hip-Hop Visionary: Lighty created the successful record label and marketing group, Violator, managing big time hip-hop and R&B performers like Mariah Carey, LL Cool J, 50 Cent, Missy Elliot, Ja Rule and Sean "Diddy" Combs.

Speaking Truth: In his final blog post on Aug. 23, Lighty vented about the "rat race we call hip-hop" and "the rumors and ridiculous stories" surrounding his clients. "LETS STOP CONTRIBUTING TO THE CHAOS AND MAYHEM," he wrote. "THIS ISN'T ROME WE DON'T NEED TO SEE BLOOD. WE HAVE THE WWF FOR THAT. THIS ISN'T HIP HOP."

His Last Tweets: If anything, the mogul's latest tweets were inspiring. After posting an RIP tweet to "my main man The Grand Incredible Dj Scott La Rock," Light retweeted, "Life is about perspective. It's not what you see, but how you see it. What you see is what you get."

Remembering Lighty: There's been an outpouring of grief on Twitter from stars including Ice-T, Rihanna, Nick Cannon and Kim Kardashian who give praise to the industry professional.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris Lighty's friends, family and loved ones.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.