The hip-hop producer and businessman was found dead in his apartment in New York in an apparent suicide.
[Chris Lighty photographed at his offices in 2007]
It is believed that he had shot himself in the head, reports TMZ. He had reportedly been going through a divorce and other financial issues.
Lighty had managed the careers of stars such as 50 Cent, Mariah Carey and P Diddy.
50 Cent released a statement upon hearing of Lighty's death, saying: "Chris has been an important part of my business and personal growth for a decade.
"He was a good friend and adviser who helped me develop as an artist and businessman. My prayers are with his family. He will be greatly missed."
Several performers also paid their tributes and expressed shock on Twitter.
Rihanna tweeted: "Rest peacefully Chris Lighty, my prayers go out to family and loved ones! Dear God please have mercy."
Nicki Minaj said: "Another tragic & inconceivable loss for the culture. #RIPChrisLighty."
Carey added: "Love & heartfelt prayers go out to Chris Lighty's family & all of us whose lives he touched. Words cannot express the sadness we share today."
P Diddy said: "R.I.P. Chris Lighty. He was a dear friend of mine and I still can't believe it."
Mary J Blige wrote: "U never know what can send a person over the edge or make them want 2 keep living. take it easy on people."
Lighty worked with a host of stars during his career, including the likes of LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott.
He is survived by two children.