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Obits: Music Industry Vet Chris Lighty Passes Away

By / 08.30.12

Today, we share the sad news that Chris Lighty, Violator Management founder and the man behind many a music career, has died. Although there’s no confirmation or released statement, Lighty’s death was first reported by Vibe and we’ll assume the passing is true for the time being – gauging by mentions from many musicians, journalists, music labels and industry vets – and apologize in advance if it’s found to be untrue.

Chris Lighty, age 43, was not a self-proclaimed legend. Lighty became a legend because of the work he did and there’s no amount of words to cover the span of his influence. “Baby Chris” got his early start working with DJ Red Alert before becoming a road manager for Boogie Down Productions. He went on to manage Native Tongue groups The Jungle Brothers and A Tribe Called Quest.

His most notable accomplishments originate from his work with Violator, utilizing a management role to guide the careers of rap’s biggest stars ranging from Mariah Carey, Nas, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Missy Elliott, 50 Cent all the way to Fantasia, Mýa, Diggy Simmons and so many more.

For those interested, check out this Black Enterprise profile on Lighty and read this Vibe piece from September 2000, written by Miss Info.


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