Jay-Z’s Def Jam Successor Commits Suicide
Def Jam Records VP Shakir Stewart, who succeeded Jay-Z as the head of the record label, died in Atlanta on Saturday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.
Stewart had a tremendously successful career and appeared particularly enthusiastic about his recent promotion to Jay-Z's vacated position after having signed several of the label's most successful artists including Rick Ross and Young Jeezy as VP of A&R. Before working at Def Jam, he worked for Hitco publishing, where he was credited for signing Beyonce to a publishing deal and Arista, where he signed Ciara.
"My main thing is to keep supporting the artists that have cultural relevance, a message, a real fan base and that can touch the hearts of men and women," Stewart said in a recent interview when asked about his goal as head of the label. "I'm a fan of the music and artists and I'm just passionate about it so I'm just ready to go."
He was discovered in the bathroom of his Atlanta home on Saturday afternoon, and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. He was 34.
"L.A. 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," Def Jam said in a statement. "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 who had the privilege of counting him as a friend. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this very difficult time."
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