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Influntial Hip Hop Manager Chris Lighty Dies At 44

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Veteran manager and founder of Violator Management and an instrumental figure in the development of hip-hop Chris Lighty has died. He was 44.

While police have not confirmed a cause of death, the New York Daily News is reporting that Lighty died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Bronx apartment, following an argument with his ex-wife. The Daily News, police said that Lighty may have been struggling with financial challenges, including owing approximately $5 million to the IRS.

Lighty got his start in the industry working with Lyor Cohen and Russell Simmons at hip-hops first major management shop, Rush Management and then he went on to found Violator Management.

Lighty's Violator was an influential management and marketing company in the early period of hip-hop and R&B's commercial success, and in the late 1990s, the company repped a roster that included 50 Cent, Missy Elliot and L.L. Cool J and Fat Joe.

Last year, Violator merged with Larry Mestel's Primary Wave Talent Management, creating Primary Violator, of which Lighty was the Chief Operating Officer. Primary Violator represents a roster that includes Sean "Diddy" Combs, Soulja Boy, Cee Lo Green and Mariah Carey.

"Chris has been an important part of my business and personal growth for a decade. He was a good friend and advisor who helped me develop as an artist and businessman. My prayers are with his family. He will be greatly missed," said rapper 50 Cent in a statement released by his publicist. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers