Veteran hip-hop manager and founder of Violator Management Chris Lighty passed away earlier today. One of the most influential managers in hip-hop music, Lighty worked with such luminaries as Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Nas, Mobb Deep, Mariah Carey, Lyor Cohen, Russell Simmons, Diddy, Ja Rule, 50 Cent, and more. Shortly after news of his passing spread, many in the music industry released statements or took to Twitter to offer condolences and remembrances.

Chris Lighty, Founder of Violator Management and One of Hip-Hop's All Time Great Execs, Has Died

"We are extremely shocked and sadden by this tragic news," stated Larry Mestel, CEO of Primary Wave Music. "Chris was a friend, business partner and most of all, an icon, role model and true legend of the music and entertainment industry. He will be missed by many and we send love and support to his family."

"Chris has been an important part of my business and personal growth for a decade," said 50 Cent in a statement through his publicist. "He was a good friend and advisor who helped me develop as an artist and businessman. My prayers are with his family. He will be greatly missed."