The hip-hop community is in a state of shock this afternoon following the death of longtime power player Chris Lighty. Through his company Violator Entertainment, the forty-four-year-old helped nurture and advance the careers of brilliant artists like Mariah Carey, 50 Cent and Diddy.

Details are still coming forward about what exactly happened, but according to The New York Daily News, Lighty was arguing with his estranged wife a little before noon today when he stepped outside his Bronx apartment and a loud gunshot was heard. Authorities reportedly recovered a gun next to Lighty’s body and are very confident the damage was self-inflicted.

In recent years, Lighty expanded his business to include a partnership with Warner Bros and a merger with Primary Wave. Unfortunately, as his business career was soaring, his personal life was reportedly suffering. His wife Veronica filed for divorce last year, and the IRS reportedly notified him he was behind on his taxes to the tune of five million dollars.

Lighty began his career working for Russell Simmons. He soon acquired a very positive reputation within the industry, and he launched Violator in the ‘90s. Household names like Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott and Three Six Mafia still call Violator home, though, without Lighty, it’s unclear whether they’ll push forward.

Pop Blend’s sincerest condolences go out to Lighty’s family, as well as all the artists touched by his brilliant mind. He will be missed for decades to come.

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