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Hip-Hop Manager Chris Lighty Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

THE BRONX — The former manager of pioneering hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in an apparent suicide at this Bronx apartment, police said.

Chris Lighty, 44, was pronounced dead inside his apartment at 670 232nd Street in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, police said. Cops responded to the home at 11:33 a.m. Thursday after a 911 call. Cops found a semi-automatic pistol at the scene.

Lighty was a well-known figure in the hip-hop world, and brokered the endorsement deal between rap star 50 Cent and Vitamin Water, the Wall Street Journal reported. He founded the managment company Violator, whose roster of talent included Missy Elliott, Sean P. Diddy Combs, LL Cool J, Mariah Carey, and Soulja Boy.

Lighty was reportedly facing money troubles and going through a divorce.

Lighty's music world comrades and other luminaries took to Twitter to honor his memory. Sean P. Diddy Combs posted a photo of he and Lighty together and wrote, "R.I.P. Chris Lighty. He Was A Dear Friend Of Mine And I Still Can't Believe It."

Rihanna Tweeted, "Rest peacefully Chris Lighty, my prayers go out to family and loved ones! Dear God please have mercy."

Gayle King, co-host of CBS This Morning and Oprah Winfrey's best friend, Tweeted, "Just heard the awful news about chris lighty's death - how I wish he knew how many cared about him-one of the good guys."

The sidewalk outside Lighty's home was crowded with shocked friends who declined to comment to reporters. Among them was rap star and Violator client Busta Rhymes, who stood near a silver Rolls-Royce.