The hip-hop music industry's biggest stars attended the funeral of music mogul Chris Lighty on Wednesday, Sept.5, at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel.
LL Cool J, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Q-Tip, Russell Simmons, Busta Rymes, 50 Cent, Lauryn Hill and hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash all paid their respects at a Manhattan funeral home where Lighty's body was laid to rest.
Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip and Warner Music Executive Lyor Cohen shared personal memories about the music mogul.
Grandmaster Flash told the press after the service: "Whatever the pressure was that made him take his life had to be tremendous pressure," said Flash. "I just wish that Chris would have reached out and said, 'Flash, I need some help, man.' ... He didn't reach out. It's really sad."
Lighty was dressed in a dark suit in a coffin draped with flowers, according to the Associated Press. A slideshow that presented several snapshots of various phases of Lighty's life appeared on screen for mourners to remember him by.
Several reports noted that the chapel had become so crowded that security guards only let people in as other people left.
The 44-year-old was found dead outside his Bronx apartment on Aug. 30. with a gunshot wound to the head. The medical examiner ruled it a suicide, but his family has asked for a second autopsy. Lighty's wife told the New York Daily News he suffered from stress due to financial issues - not because of their marriage troubles.
Lighty's wife Veronica filed for divorce from him a year ago, but she withdrew the petition in June. She noted that Lighty owed the IRS $5 million but Associated Press reported that after he sold his Manhattan apartment for $5.6 million, he reduced his debt and owed a remaining $330,000 in state and federal taxes. City National Bank reportedly sued Lighty in April for an overdrawn bank account for $53,584.
Lighty was known in the music industry for managing several other high caliber music artists who did not attend his funeral including Mariah Carey and Academy Award-winners Three 6 Mafia after he co-founded Violator Management in the late 1990s. He was known for creating lucrative deals for music artists including 50 Cent's partnership with Vitamin Water and LL Cool J's Gap commercial.
Lighty's family wants a full investigation surrounding his death and are unsure if suicide was the cause. The former head of the city medical examiner's office, Michael Baden, has performed a second autopsy and is waiting for test results. Baden became famous when he testified in O.J. Simpson's trial.