Snoop Dogg on Chris Lighty's Death: 'He Lived a Great Life and Loved His Artists'

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Estevan Oriol

News of music executive Chris Lighty's sudden death spread through the hip-hop community like wildfire, with rap's biggest name posting tributes on Twitter. Among them: P. Diddy, Soulja Boy, DJ Khaled and Chuck D.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Snoop Lion (nee Dogg) described the Violator Management founder as "a close friend" and "a great person." No stranger to tragic deaths of beloved friends in recent years, the rapper and filmmaker said, "It's just sad to hear news like that. But he lived a great life and did a lot of great things for the artists that he helped. I'm gonna pray for his family and hopefully he's in a better place."

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Remembering a time in the studio with Dr. Dre, Snoop recalled "a song that I liked and Dre didn't ... [Chris] voiced his opinion, and that showed me that he wasn't caught up in the facade. He was speaking his mind and a real person."

Lighty was 50 Cent's manager for over a decade who played an instrumental role in orchestrating the rapper's investment in Glacéau, the company that makes VitaminWater. It paid off big-time when Coca Cola bought the brand for $4.1 billion in 2007.

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Indeed, in a piece Lighty wrote for Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists (see right), he concluded his "road manager rules to live by" with the edict: "Get the group to focus on money, not girls."

Lighty worked with many of the most revered hip-hop, rap and pop acts to emerge in the last two decades, including Diddy, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Nas, Mobb Deep and Mariah Carey.

"He loved his artists and he loved his daughters," added Snoop. 

No official word yet on the circumstances of his death although multiple news outlets have made mention of Lighty's ex-wife Veronica being in his Bronx apartment at the time. 

Twitter: @THRMusic