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The suspected suicide of 50 Cent's long-standing manager, Chris Lighty, has stunned the music industry.

Lighty, the entrepreneur who founded Violator Management, was found dead at his New York apartment with a gunshot wound to the head.

He had reportedly been through a difficult divorce and was suffering financial and personal problems at the time of his death.

The 44-year-old music manager was a key figure in hip-hop and managed acts like Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Missy Elliott, Fantasia, Mya, Diggy Simmons, Ja Rule, Mobb Deep, LL Cool J, Nas and 50 Cent.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of a hip-hop hero," 50 Cent said in a statement.

"Chris Lighty has been a dear friend of mine since he was a kid. Was a brilliant partner in business and I was so proud of all that he had accomplished.

"He is an amazing example of how a passionate kid from the street can go to be the most even-keeled, smart, thoughtful manager in the business and a generous philanthropist. He was loved by everyone who knew him, including me. He will be missed greatly by all of us.'

IBTimes UK remembers the music manager...