Monday, November 3, 2008

Def Jam's Shakir Stewart, 34 commits suicide

Hip Hop is stunned at the suicide of Def Jam’s 34-year old executive vice president, Shakir Stewart who was found at 4 p.m. in the bathroom of his Atlanta home and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Island Def Jam Music Group, the label’s parent company released the following official response: “[Def Jam chairman] LA Reid and all of us at Island Def Jam Music Group are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and colleague Shakir Stewart," the statement said. "Shakir was an amazing man in every sense of the word. A truly incredible friend and father who was an inspiration to not only our artists and employees, but to his family and the many people that had the privilege of counting him as a friend. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this very difficult time.”

Stewart’s fiancée, Michael Rivers jointly release a statement along with family noting, “over the past several weeks, Shakir's behavior was inconsistent with the man we all know and love. As much as we all tried to help him, Shakir was in deep pain and largely suffering in silence.”

On a personal note, Hip Hop Empowers the Vote! extended an invitation to Mr. Stewart who succeeded Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter in his lucrative position to serve as the keynote speaker for a proposed October townhall discussion at his alma mater Morehouse College. The event was unable to take place due to scheduling conflicts.

Stewart was instrumental in launching the careers of Young Jeezy and Rick Ross

My condolences to the Stewart, Island Def Jam Music Group, the bereaved family, friends and loved ones in this hour of grief. I pray that God restores the Stewart family beyond this untimely tragic event.

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