Oct 10, 2012 09:22 AM EDT
Stars at the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards paid tribute to the late music executive Chris Lighty with an emotional video message and performances Tuesday night.
LL Cool J, who was signed to Lighty's Violator record label and was managed by the hip-hop icon, opened up the tribute with a heartfelt message.
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"He was my manager and more importantly he was my friend. We lost somebody truly great in the music industry," LL Cool J said.
"If it wasn't for Chris Lighty we would never have music like this," he continued as the cameras of the Awards shifted to the auditorium's stage.
50-Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Fat Joe and Missy Elliot all lent their voices for a tribute to Lighty.
Lighty was found dead in his Bronx apartment from an apparent suicide on August 30.
Lighty apparently shot himself in the head after an argument with his ex-wife, reported Forbes at the time of the death. He was 44 years old.
The New York Times once called him "one of the most powerful figures in the hip-hop business."
It was also reported that Lighty may have been in financial difficulties. According to the New York Daily News, he owed the IRS some $5 million.
Watch the Tribute to Chris Lighty Below:
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