Jay-Z's record label successor Shakir Stewart dies

Shakir Stewart commits suicide
Shakir Stewart commits suicide

Shakir Stewart, who succeeded Jay-Z as executive vice president at Def Jam Records, has been found dead.

He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday (1 November).

Stewart signed such artists as Rick Ross and Young Jeezy to the label before being named in June to the post once filled by Jay-Z. In that role, Stewart oversaw the development of new talent, managed producers and guided the label's vision.

"Shakir was an amazing man, in every sense of the word" - from a Def Jam statement

A native of Oakland, California and graduate of Atlanta's Morehouse College, he previously worked at Hitco Music Publishing, where he signed Beyonce.

Stewart called his position at Def Jam his dream job and said 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. 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."

Def Jam issues a statement

"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 today. "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."

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.