November 3, 2008

Def Jam Vice President Shakir Stewart Dead From Suicide

Shakir Stewart, Def Jam's Executive Vice President and successor to Jay-Z at the helm of the label, died Saturday (November 1) of an apparent suicide. According to various reports, his body was found in his bathroom of his house in Marietta, Georgia. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No further details were available at press time.

"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 given to Billboard.com."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."While at the label, Stewart signed such artists as Rick Ross and Young Jeezy before being named an executive V.P. back in June, which he called his dream job. Def Jam was founded in the mid-1980s by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin.

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