Def Jam executive vice president Shakir Stewart, 34, died on Saturday, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, his New York-based label said in a statement.
Stewart was found Saturday afternoon in the bathroom of his home in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Cobb County police spokeswoman Cassie Reece said Sunday. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, according to the Associated Press.
“LA 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. ” 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.”
Stewart succeeded Jay-Z as the head of hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings. He was promoted to EVP in June and reported to Antonio “L.A.” Reid, chairman and Steve Bartels, president & chief operating officer, Island Def Jam Music Group, on operational matters.
Stewart had overall responsibility for the day to day activities of the Def Jam label, including the acquisition and development of new talent, overseeing producers and guiding the creative vision of the music company.
From September 2006 until his promotion earlier this year, Stewart served as senior vice president, A&R, Def Jam Recordings. That followed two years as vice president, A&R, Def Jam Recordings, where his new artist signings included hip-hop stars Young Jeezy and Rick Ross.
Prior to Def Jam, Stewart worked at Hitco Publishing, where he was senior vice president and general manager, and signed Beyonce to the firm. During that same period, he served as an A&R consultant to LaFace Records and (from 2000 to 2004) Arista Records, where he signed Ciara.
Stewart graduated from Morehouse College in 1996, with a degree in Marketing.