Celebrity deaths in 2012 - In Memoriam

Slideshow posted in Photos | Friday, January 20, 2012

28 of 186: Chris Lighty, manager of Hip-Hop stars like 50-Cent and Missy Elliot, has died at age 44 of an apparent suicide on August 30, 2012.

Authorities said that the gunshot wound appeared to be self-inflicted and a .9-mm handgun was found at the scene. Law enforcement sources told the New York Daily News that Lighty owed the IRS about $5 million dollars. In 2009, he confirmed to the New York Post that he was one of the clients cheated in the Bernie Madoff scandal.

Lighty reportedly had an argument with his ex-wife Veronica, before his apparent suicide. The couple separated in November of last year.

Lighty had been in the rap industry for several decades and worked with artists like LL Cool J, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Mariah Carey, Three 6 Mafia and Busta Rhymes.

He got his start working for D.J. Red Alert, before being hired by Russell Simmon's company Rush Management. He eventually founded hip-hop management company Violator, named after his former gang, in the early 1990's.

(Pictured: This Feb. 28, 2007 file photo shows hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty in his office in New York.) (AP Photo / Jim Cooper, file)