The Hip-Hop music industry has truly lost an incredible asset in business with the sudden death of artist manager and business executive Chris Lighty.
Mr. Lighty was the founder of record label and management company Violator where he launched careers in the music industry. His client list read like a Grammy Award roster with names like Missy Elliott, P Diddy, LL Cool J, Fifty, JaRule, and Mariah Carey.
He was instrumental in negotiating deals for his artist that took their career to the next level. One of the most memorable deals is the one that united a partnership between his artist Fifty-Cent and Vitamin Water. Fifty bought 10% of the company, which was a product of Glace’au. Once Coca-Cola purchased Glace’au for the tune of $4 billion, Fifty became a millionaire. Chris also inked deals for other artist like LL Cool J with The Gap and Busta Rhymes with Mountain Dew.
I do not find it necessary to add to the reported speculation about the reason which lead Chris to take his own life. Because sadly we will never know what really catapulted him over the edge to end it on Thursday, August 30, 2012.
According to (Chinese and Hutchinson) his wife Veronica is quoted saying, “He was a genius” (New York Daily News, 2012).
I agree with Veronica, Chris Lighty was not only a genius in the art of business negotiations but he was a compassionate and wonderful human being. He was someone I admired in the music industry because he was raised by a single parent, graduated from the New York school of “ the streets of the city” and became a self made multi-millionaire with integrity in an industry where that quality is hard to find. I only wish I had the opportunity to meet him. He was one of the people I had hoped to learn from as a newly minted artist manager myself in the entertainment business.
I would like to extend my condolences to his family, friends, Hip-Hop community and music industry. Chris Lighty will truly be missed. May he now rest in peace and may God have mercy on his soul.
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