Consider a pioneer by many, the sudden death of respected, influential Hip Hop executive and manager Chris Lighty has the music industry reeling.

Lighty founded Violator Management and Entertainment and, alongside key involvement in innovative business deals, was a former manager of Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, P Diddy, LL Cool and Ja Rule among many others.

According to NY Daily News, Lighty died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head outside his Bronx apartment after arguing with his ex-wife, with un-named law enforces suggesting Lighty, “may have been dealing with financial struggles, including owing about $5 million to the IRS.”

The tributes are pouring in online from musicians and industry colleagues.

“So very sad about Chris lighty..Great long time friend,fellow bronxite and peer…incredible businessman and person,” tweeted Jeff Robinson, CEO of MBK Entertainment [Alicia Keys, Elle Varner] and a friend and professional peer of Lighty.

“Its very sad..noone knows what pressures we all really have behind the masks put on for the public and even family and friends..” he adds; a concerned sentiment echoed by many this evening in reaction to the news.

Read more on Chris Lighty’s contributions to Hip Hop and business at Forbes and Billboard – plus take a read of this contextual piece penned by Andreas Hale over at TheWellVersed.