The funeral of storied Hip-Hop mogul Chris Lighty was held today in NYC's Upper East Side. A who's who of rap stars, many personal friends and business associates, of the Bronx native, including LL Cool J, Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes, visited Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel this morning (September 5th) to pay their respects to "Baby" Chris, who committed suicide last week on Thursday, August 30th. MTV News was present and reports that Lighty was buried at George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey.
On August 30, Lighty was found dead at his Bronx, New York, apartment with a gunshot wound to the head. Investigators on the scene determined that the wounds were self-inflicted and the medical examiner later ruled Lighty's death a suicide officially. Reports have pointed to Lighty's debt to the IRS and his troubling marriage as reasons why the industry visionary would take his own life.
Whatever the case, Grandmaster Flash, who spoke outside the chapel, noted the tremendous amount of pressure Lighty must've been under and said that it was very sad. It was a similar sentiment that Chris' business partner Michael "Blue" Williams shared with MTV News last week. "What people are missing and what people don't see and what Chris is an example of is how much, as black men, we carry around and don't always communicate," Blue told us a day after Lighty's death.
Warner Music executive and close friend Lyor Cohen shared some touching words on Lighty during the funeral. A few of Chris' star-studded roster of clients including Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip also added their personal memories of the man who helped shape their careers.
Lighty's wife has refuted reports that her late husband shot himself because of martial discord or financial issues. She recently spoke with reporters outside of her home, telling the New York Daily News that she had not been in a verbal dispute with Lighty moments before he took his own life.
“My husband was too smart of a man. He was a genius. No smart man is going to leave his children for fighting with his wife,” she told the Daily News in her first public comments since the founder and chief of Violator Management took his life Thursday morning. “That makes absolutely no sense.
“We had a passionate relationship. We fought all the time,” she added.
Lighty, 44, the father of six children, shot himself to death behind his five-story townhouse.
Reports suggested Lighty — the longtime manager who worked with the likes of Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Diddy and Ja Rule — owed $5 million to the IRS and was heartbroken over his wife filing for divorce.
But Veronica Lighty, the mother of two of the hip-hop star's children, said she and her husband had worked out their financial difficulties and that they were not getting a divorce.
“I had filed for divorce last year, but retracted it” two days before Father's Day, she said. “That was my gift to him.”
Rest In Power Chris Lighty.
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Photo: New York Daily News