Chris Lighty

Born: May 8, 1968, The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA;

Died: August 30, 2012, Riverdale, New York City, New York, USA;

Position: CEO;

Company: Violator Management;

Residence: United States;

Nationality: American;

Chris Lighty

Chris Lighty (May 8, 1968 - August 30, 2012) is the founder of Violator Management, a record label, management, and marketing company. He was one of the most powerful figures in the music business.

Lighty has played an integral part in the success of rap superstars such as Busta Rhymes, De La Soul, Foxy Brown, LL Cool J, the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip, Missy Elliott and most recently Sean "Diddy" Combs, 50 Cent and G-Unit.

Since 1989, his company has been stealthily creating strategic multi-million dollar opportunities for its artists in film, television, advertising, sports and finance with little media fanfare.

With help from partners Mona Scott and Todd Moscowitz, Lighty has built Violator Management & Records into an urban-music powerhouse selling more than 70 million albums worldwide, earning three Grammys and an Oscar for Three 6 Mafia's "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," from the movie "Hustle & Flow," the first Hip-hop group to win an Academy Award for Best Song. They are also the first Hip-hop artists ever to perform at the Academy Awards ceremony.

He was asked by Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen (still two of his biggest influences and mentors) to join their fledging RUSH Management team and shortly afterward, he started the indie Violator Records label at Relativity with Latin hip-hop artists Fat Joe and Beatnuts.

After moving the company to Def Jam, he broke Waren's four-million selling REGULATE album wide-open, then inked Cru, Foxy Brown, The Firm's Cormega and Mysonne to the label and found time to executive produce for LL Cool J's double-platinum MR. SMITH album. Lighty sold off the Violator Records roster to Def Jam in 1999.

In 2000, following Def Jam's sale to Universal Music, Lighty struck out on his own embarking on a new chapter in his career at Jive Records where he has relaunched Violator Records and serves as Senior Vice President at Jive Records.

In June 2006, Violator's Mona Scott, sold Missy Elliot's life story to Universal Pictures.

Forbes magazine named him as one of the industry's most influential talent managers and the business mastermind that helped transform 50 Cent from multi-platinum artist to a $200 million dollar industry encompassing CD's, films, tours, video games, book deals, G-unit clothing and an unprecedented investment/endorsement deal with Glaceau's Vitamin Water.

Says Lighty, "it's the highest form of flattery when your peers at other entertainment companies feel that you have something to contribute to their efforts."

Lighty was raised in the Bronx and launched his career by hauling record crates for the legendary hip-hop deejay Red Alert.

Others may have dismissed the Bronx as a cauldron of urban blight but Lighty saw flourishing businesses.

"Street entrepreneurs had set hours," he explains. "They created sales and cultivated a viable product. They had to advertise, market and promote to make themselves distinguishable from the next man who was always ready to move in on a competitor's territory. They had to be provocative enough, and productive enough to find ways not only to create repeat customers but loyal ones too. And given the volatile nature of most the hood's enterprises, businessmen had to have the leadership skills necessary to run an organization that could easily run amok if left to its own devices."

On August 30, 2012, Lighty was found dead in his Bronx apartment. It is believed to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Please Support Our Sponsors
Become a sponsor.

Recently Added Black Executives

Bill Spruill

Born: Goldsboro, North Carolina; Occupation: Businessman; Position: Co-founder & President; Company: Global Data Consortium; Industry:…

Yannick Lefang

Born: France; Occupation: Businessman; Position: Founder & CEO; Company: Kasi Insight Inc.; Industry: Market Research; Residence: Canada; …

Russ Hutchinson

Occupation: Businessman; Position: Chief Strategy Officer; Company: Goldman Sachs; Industry: Financial Services; Residence: United States; …

Asahi Pompey

Occupation: Businesswoman, Lawyer; Position: Partner, Global Head of Corporate Engagement & President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation; Company:…

Darren Dixon

Born: c. 1987; Occupation: Businessman; Position: Partner; Company: Goldman Sachs; Industry: Financial Services; Residence: United States; …

Latest News & Articles

Rihanna Fenty

Rihanna's lingerie company Savage X Fenty, known for its inclusivity of all body types, is reportedly planning a public offering at a reported $3…

Serena Williams, tennis champion and successful businesswoman and partner Alison Rapaport Stillman has raised a new fund, Inaugural Fund with $111M in…

Robin Rihanna Fenty

Robin Rihanna Fenty, the multi talented Barbadian entrepreneur, known best for her multi platinum selling music career, has raised $125 million for…

Frank Clyburn

International Flavors & Fragrances announced on January 20, 2022, the appointment of Frank Clyburn, an accomplished leader and operational executive,…

Sean Combs

Mr. Combs, 52, won back ownership with a $7.55 million bid in an auction to save Sean John from bankruptcy, according to court documents. Mr. Comb's…

Black Billionaires

Aliko Dangote

Born: April 10, 1957, Kano, Kano State, Nigeria; Occupation: Businessperson; Position: Chairman, President; Company: The Dangote Group; …

Michael Jordan

Born: February 17, 1963, Wilmington, North Carolina; Occupation: Businessman,Professional Basketball Player, Actor; Company: Charlotte Bobcats; …

Robin Rihanna Fenty

Born: February 20, 1988, Saint Michael, Barbados; Occupation: Businesswoman, singer, songwriter, actress; Position: Co-Founder; Organizations: …

Born: June 8, 1977, Atlanta, Georgia; Occupation: Rapper, Music Producer, Fashion Designer, Businessman; Position: Founder; Company: Yeezy; …

Shawn "Jay Z" Carter

Born: December 4, 1969, Brooklyn, NY; Company: Roc Nation; Position: Founder; Industry: Media, Entertainment, Publishing, Fashion; Residence:…

FTC: Black Entrepreneur & Executive Profiles is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links. You support us by using our links to buy products, it will cost you nothing extra.

We also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Learn more...