Head of Def Jam records, Shakir Stewart, dies in apparent suicide


Shakir Stewart, the head of Def Jam records, was found dead in the bathroom of his Atlanta home on Saturday of an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound. The 34 year-old music executive had taken over the top spot at Def Jam, formerly held by Jay-Z, in June.

Known as a tireless, resourceful worker committed to finding new talent and acts, Stewart first signed Beyonce to the Hitco Label in 2000. While some friends are expressing disbelief at his death, his fiancé said in a statement that he was facing some personal trials and was not himself in the past few weeks:

On Sunday (November 2), his fiancée, Michelle Rivers, released a joint statement with the rest of his family.

We would like to thank Shakir’s friends for the tremendous outpouring of love and support we have received during this difficult time,” the statement reads. “It has helped us to cope with our overwhelming grief and sadness. It is difficult to express or explain in words what led to the tragic occurrence on Saturday. 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. Please remember Shakir for who he was … a wonderful father, partner, son and friend.”

Stewart was 34 years old. Cobb County Police spokeswoman Cassie Reece was quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, telling the paper that his body was found in the bathroom of his home around 4 p.m. Saturday. He was taken to the Kenne Hospital with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and later pronounced dead.

The Oakland, California, native was known in the music industry for his hard work and an ear for talent. He was recently instrumental in fattening Def Jam’s roster with Southern rap staples Rick Ross and Young Jeezy. Both MCs released albums that debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts.

Def Jam released a statement Saturday night in the aftermath of the tragedy.

“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,” the statement reads. “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.”

[From MTV.com]

People are commenting that it doesn’t really make sense that this guy would commit suicide. He was an incredibly successful and well known music executive at the top of his career. We don’t know his situation at all and depression doesn’t spare people with money. We’ll have to see if police find any signs of foul play. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family at this sad time.

 

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17 Responses to “Head of Def Jam records, Shakir Stewart, dies in apparent suicide”

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  1. Susan says:

    Depression does not discriminate. So sad.

  2. elisha says:

    Smells fishy. I hate to be the first one to hop on the conspiracy train (usually I’m the one who’s like, the last to believe a conspiracy) but he might not’ve killed himself.

  3. Tim says:

    The family seems to be hiding something. The statement alones seems like it is trying to heap blame on Stewart. I know depression can work on an one but something sounds a bit off with this story.

  4. Minda says:

    I’m jumping on the conspiracy train too. Choo-choo. I find the fiance’s statement quite odd. The truth might never come out, but something is definitely ‘off’ about this situation. I’m not buyin’ it.

  5. Holly says:

    I find the situation odd, but if he did commit suicide I would not be surprised. Def Jam has been hiding a thing or two about what they’re up to. They consistently mismanage their artists and underpromote their valuable artists. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are not as successful as they make themselves out to be. After all, didn’t Jay Z reportedly buy hundreds of thousands of his last album to inflate sales records?

  6. mE says:

    How incredibly sad! Such a young guy. Prayers for his family. I had never heard of him before but this is such a difficult thing for anyone to have to deal with.

  7. JaundiceMachine says:

    Very sad. Whatever the cause, the conclusion is very sad.
    So it goes . . .

  8. tw says:

    Being that he was in the ”music” industry and no note was found I personally would not jump so fast to say he did this to himself.

    Maybe the ”behavior” they were talking about was FEAR OF SOMEONE OR SOMETHING. Same people don’t just wake up CRAZY one day and kill themselves!

    Yes, people get depressed and do things like this all the time …right now Black Men are doing this A LOT !!…there was a time they did not but the numbers are going up every day.

    Our men need to know that they need ”us” Black women and their children to make it here in modern day Rome and to ”check out” like that is not the way to go.

    This man worked in full view of everyone …no one saw this coming or tried to help? …

    I don’t know …it too easy for me to say.

    Rest well King …your family and children will miss you …and so will we.

  9. rsm says:

    you were an incredible person and it was a honor to know you and you will be truly missed god bless mitchell and the kids

  10. Dennis says:

    I think he was killed. I think he called alan watt on breaking thru the matrix on october 27, was put on the air about 30-35 minutes into the show and Shakir broke it down on the New World Order. Please check out alan’s website and get the truth out.
    peace

  11. tracy says:

    I just went to the alan watt website and listened to the podcat from oct 27th , I don’t personally know shakir but I followed his career and respected him as a businessman,(may he please r.i.p) If that was shakir who was on that show he was crying out somthing that everyone needs to hear, i think people close to him needs to listen to see if that is him so that maybe they will have answers that those concerned [people don’t know , my heart goes out to him and his family, if he did do this this man must have been in great fear and pain!!! people check out the site!!! r.i.p peace shakir you’ll have pain nomore god bless

  12. queen fe says:

    yeah< im am deeply sadden by his lost my heart goes out to the family, but im not buying the suicide thing either, he is a father and a soon to be husband not to mention someones sons…i dont seein a man like that being so selfish, life dont get that serious, if thats the case then why didnt Jay offf him self too. no disrespect to either of them… think about it

  13. pretty mama says:

    some people may live a successful life and appear to hav it all and be on top of things, but in reality,people are still people and there are alot out there who suffer from mental problems or illnesses that some of us (the public,family,friends)dont know about.they dont talk about it because they want to keep a certain persona about themselvs,its sad but it seems 2 me like that could be the case right here…r.i.p.

  14. zosma says:

    where was shakir octber 27th 2008. because in the radio show of allan watts the caller says he was in South America.

    who ever it was that called into the show was really crying out to the people.

  15. baygirl6 says:

    I FEEL THAT THE SUICIDE THEORY IS ALL TO EASY TO BLAME THIS SITUATION ON I MYSELF HAVE AND FAMILY MEMBER HAVE SUFFERED BOUTS OF DEPRESSION AND WE ALL AGREE ITS NOT JUST SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS IN A DAY OR EVEN OVER A FEW SHORT WEEKS. THATS NOT HOW DEPRESSION WORKS IT HAS TO BUILD UP TO BECOME SEVERLY DEPRESSED NOT JUST OK WAKE UP AND KILL YOURSELF. I FEEL LIKE THERE IS A HUGE COVER UP AND EVEN THE FAMILY COULD POSSIBLY BE IN DANGER AND BE HIDING WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THIS YOUNG MAN IF HE HAD SUFFERED ANY BOUTS OF DEPRESSION IN COLLEGE OR HIGH SCHOOL HIS FRIENDS WOULD BE POURING OUT SAYING THAT YES THERE WERE TIMES THAT WE NOTICED THAT HE WAS DEPRESSED AND ACTED LIKE THIS BUT THEY ALL SAID THE SAME THING. HE WAS MENTAL TOUGH AND I NEVER MET HIM BUT WATCHING AS HE SPOKE ON TV WAS VERY WELL SPOKEN AND INTELLIGENT. HE SEEM TO DEMAND RESPECT NOT MENTALLY UNSTABLE THIS IS HORRIBLE AND THE FBI NEEDS TO INVESTIGATE THIS SITUTATION MY GOD THINK ABOUT HIS CHILDREN HE WAS A HUMAN BEING AND HE DESERVES TO HAVE THIS BE TREATED AS A MURDER ITS NOT A SUICIDE WHO DARE THEY INSULT OUR INTELLIGENCE. EVERONE KNOWS THHAT HE WOULDNT KILL HIMSELF JUST READ BETWEEN THE LINES.RIP MR,STEWART!!!

  16. KILL ILLUMANATTI says:

    this wasnt a suicide….jay z left def jam he took his spot and the illmanatti killed this dude and played it as a suicide…case closed hey??fuck jay z and the illumanatti in a few years it will all make sense to yall…good luck hold ya head…rip