SONIA MURRAY, DERRICK MAHONE from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
One of the music executives who helped make Atlanta the Motown of the South died this weekend of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Cobb County police said. Shakir Stewart, the 34-year-old executive vice president of Def Jam Recordings, was found about 4 p.m. Saturday in the bathroom of his house on Lindsey Drive in Marietta, said police spokeswoman Cassie Reece. Reese said Stewart shot himself with a handgun but wouldn't say who discovered him. Stewart was prounounced dead at Kennestone Hospital.
Stewart ran the day-to-day operations of Def Jam, the best-known hip-hop label in the country. He was named executive vice president about five months ago, succeeding rap superstar Jay-Z.
What?? Whenever guys around my age take themselves out it hits home for real. Of course everyone's gonna say something like, "but this guy was on top, blah, blah, blah." Yeah, but it's dark and lonely up there too. Sad.
His fiance talked about Stewart's deep personal pain:
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." "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."