Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty died Thursday morning after he shot himself after an argument with his estranged wife at his Bronx apartment.
Chris Lighty 44 — a longtime manager of 50 Cent, Diddy, Ja Rule and Mariah Carey — stepped outside his South Riverdale apartment about 11:30 a.m., after a spat with his wife, Veronica, police sources said. Suddenly, a gun shot was heard and Lighty was found lying faceup with a 9-mm. pistol next to his body, sources said.
Lighty was the architect of what turned out to be one of the most lucrative deals in hip-hop history–50 Cent’s VitaminWater pact. In exchange for letting the brand develop the beverage Formula 50 and appearing in commercials, the rapper received a small equity stake in VitaminWater parent Glaceau.
When Coca-Cola paid $4.1 billion for the company three years later, 50 Cent walked away with $100 million; Lighty received an undisclosed sum.