Def Jam Executive Vice President Shakir Stewart, who replaced Jay-Z at the helm of the label and signed such artists as Rick Ross and Young Jeezy, died Saturday (November 1). According to reports, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Further details were not available at press time.
Stewart succeeded Jay-Z, who resigned his post at Def Jam in December of last year, in June. He told Billboard at the time that his goal was to help develop “new, young executives … the hot executive who’s 21, 22 years old and has a serious passion for music and the desire to work 27 hours a day. That’s where I was at that time in my life. And that’s who I’m looking to mentor. I don’t see many people like that. Instead, I see a lot of kids who want to live the lifestyle but don’t want to put in the work and do what it takes.”
Authorities investigating the matter could not be reached for comment at press time.
I personally did not know Brother Stewart, but I know many whose lives he did touch and I know of is contributions to the music industry. My prayers go out to his loved ones.