Police are also withholding official details about the untimely death. Still, speculation amongst industry insiders is beginning to make its rounds, with some suggesting that the demise of the A&R star might be related to his involvement with the infamous Black Mafia Family.
Though his salary and respect in the music business was generous, sources say that Stewart was always attracted to the fast life, and he was even known to borrow large amounts of money. “He enjoyed the hustle, the wheeling and dealing. He was always on the move, never sitting still…and always in touch with gangsta types,”
According to LiveSteez
UPDATE: Stewart’s friends and family talk about his death.
“We would like to thank Shakir’s friends for the tremendous outpouring of love and support we have received during this difficult time,” the statement from Stewart’s fiancée, Michelle Rivers, and family read. “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.”
Industry Mogul, Kenny Burns Also Spoke about his friend
“From that time and period, all of us were looking for something. The business was starting to bubble and we were all blessed to be there early. Looking back, we were like, ‘Aww shit, we need to get in that, the women, the girls’… But it just became more important to make a mark and build a legacy.”
“Me and Shake, we’re men’s men. We had kids, we’re responsible fathers. And the man that I know wouldn’t take his life. That man was strong, it ain’t no street pressure, music business, L.A. Reid, these fake ass artists…that ain’t gon’ tear nobody like Shake down. It’s just something that I can’t see, nor accept. We wouldn’t do that.
“Like, [Stewart] wouldn’t leave his kids without insurance like that. We tried to rush to the hospital before they rushed him to the morgue yesterday…” Burns says, before breaking down in tears on the phone.
“I want to say something about this fake ass business that these young’ns are enthralled with: this business is not that. Educate these people. Money does not make you happy. I don’t believe he took his life. But it’s because of this fake ass business, and these niggas and bitches,” Burns said. “I’m personally setting up a college fund for his kids.”
The music industry has lost one of its talented executives.
According to Billboard.com, Def Jam executive vice president Shakir Stewart committed suicide yesterday (Nov. 1) in New York. Details about the tragedy are still sketchy.
Stewart succeeded Jay-Z as the head of Def Jam last June. He also served as Senior Vice President of A&R at Island Def Jam and is known for signing acts like Rick Ross and Young Jeezy.
The Oakland, California native first made his mark on the industry at Atlanta’s Hitco Music Publishing, where he signed Beyonce Knowles.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Stewart’s family and friends.