×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hip-hop manager Chris Lighty dies

Violator Management founder was 40

Top hip-hop manager Chris Lighty has died. He was 40.

Early press reports said Lighty died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Bronx apartment.

A staffer at the Los Angeles office of Primary Wave, which merged with Lighty’s Violator Management in 2011, confirmed his death, but could provide no further details. A publicist for the firm did not immediately return calls from Daily Variety.

Lighty’s company represented Mariah Carey, Diddy, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, LL Cool J and Soulja Boy, among others. A year ago, the company formed Primary Violator by combining its operations with Primary Wave CEO Larry Mestel’s talent operation (Daily Variety, Sept. 19, 2011).

Lighty was also involved in Brand Asset Group, a joint venture with Warner Music Group.

Before moving back into management, Lighty served as senior vp at Jive Records.

Lighty formed Violator Management in 1989. His partners in the endeavor included Todd Moscowitz, today co-president and COO of Warner Bros. Records.

Before founding Violator, Bronx-born Lighty worked with Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen (today chairman-CEO of recorded music at Warner Music Group) at Rush Management and Def Jam Records.

Violator Records, which began life distributed by indie Relativity, moved under the Def Jam umbrella, and spawned such acts as Warren G and Foxy Brown. Def Jam acquired the Violator roster in 1999.

More Scene

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content