music executive who signed Beyoncé while he was working for the Hitco publishing company and who subsequently succeeded rapper Jay-Z as the head of hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings died because of a self-inflicted gunshot injury, police announced on Sunday.

According to a statement released by the New York-based company, executive vice president Shakir Stewart died on Saturday at the age of 34.

Shakir Stewart was found on Saturday afternoon in the bathroom of his suburban Atlanta home and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

In spite of the fact that officials did not disclose the identity of the person who found the head of Def Jam, they explained that the shooting was self-inflicted.

Michelle Rivers, Shakir Stewart’s fiancée, as well as members of his family, released a statement through the record label. In the statement, they said that Shakir Stewart had changed throughout the past several weeks. “As much as we all tried to help him, Shakir was in deep pain and largely suffering in silence,” the release read.

Before replacing Jay-Z as executive vice president in June, Stewart had signed artists such as Rick Ross and Young Jeezy to the label.

Officials did not reveal whether Stewart left a suicide note in his Marietta, Ga., residence.

The statement by Def Jam described the music executive as “an inspiration to not only our artists and employees, but to his family and the many people who had the privilege of counting him as a friend.”

An Oakland, Calif., native, Shakir Stewart moved to Atlanta in order to attend Morehouse College, where he graduated in 1996. [via]


  1. From the article, it seemed like he had so much going for him. It is a shame for anyone to give up their will to live and take their own life…


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