Billboard.com reports Def Jam executive vice president Shakir Stewart committed suicide Saturday in New York. Various sources confirm Stewart's body was found in his apartment earlier today.
Stewart made news in June when he succeeded Jay-Z as Def Jam's executive vice president; he was formerly the senior vice president and A&R. He had a proven track record as both an executive and publisher with Hitco Music Publishing, where he served as general manager and vice president. Prior to bringing Beyonce, to Hitco, Stewart held similar positions as a member of the executive A&R team at Arista Records and A&R consultant with LaFace Records.
Stewart was also responsible for helping remake the image of Def Jam with the signings and development of both Young Jeezy and Rick Ross. When the Oakland native was promoted over the summer, both Island/Def Jam Chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid and COO Steve Bartels were effusive in their praise of Stewart.
"Shakir has been an integral part of Def Jam's chemistry ever since he joined the company in 2004," said Bartels. "His instincts for searching out new artists is talked about throughout the industry. In addition, his understanding of every facet of Def Jam's business operation makes us
confident in his leadership of the company into its third decade."
HipHopDX sends our condolences to the family and friends of Shakir Stewart. Please stay tuned for more information as its made available.