Shakir Stewart

Born April 12, 1974 Stewart was a Oakland, CA native. After graduating from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Stewart used the money he made from throwing parties in college to build a small studio with a couple friends. The group signed several young producers in the Atlanta area. Stewart’s skills as a talent magnet were recognized by Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who at the time was starting the company Hitco Music Publishing, and saw him as someone with “a finger on the pulse of the next generation of hot producers in the Atlanta music scene.”

At the time Reid tried to connect to a different market of producers and songwriters and offered Stewart his first position as an intern-level creative person. Stewart was simultaneously Senior Vice President of Island Def Jam Music Group and the Executive Vice President of Def Jam (as he replaced Jay-Z in 2008). He is credited with signing artist such as Beyoncé, Young Jeezy, Ricky Rosé, and Ciara. He also overseen projects for Nas and LL Cool J.

On November 1, 2008 at age 38 Stewart was found in the bathroom of his Atlanta home in Marietta, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. He has been succeeded by his Fiancée Michelle Rivers, daughter and son.