Money, Power, Death: Why Are Celebrities Like Chris Lighty Committing Suicide?

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About Showtime: Mr. Motivation (Radio Personality and Blogger)

Media professional and radio personality Showtime has become the voice that listeners and readers have come to recognize as their own. Born in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Showtime was the product of a single-parent home and raised by his mother. After losing his father at an early age Showtime began to lean on the culture of Hip Hop as a way to fill the void that was left by his father’s death. Showtime is an accomplished radio professional, author, and blogger who uses his voice to help guide the lives of today’s youth. He is a dedicated father who uses his experiences as a testimony to encourage other men in the area of fatherhood.


  1. In talking about celebrity suicides, I find myself facing what it means to have celebrity heroes. I’m Gen X, culturally prone to cynicism; do I still have matinee idols? Yes, I do. For you, it’s hip hop and the NFL; for me, it was comedians. I’ve always wanted to be a comedian, since I was a child, so when someone in comedy dies, I take it like a loss to my extended family. I identify with them because I think about them a lot; what drives them and what we have in common. When someone dies the way Richard Jeni did, it makes me think about my own dark days in a way that celebrities of other spheres of fame do not. We defined success similarly; what does his judgment of his own failure mean for me? It can shake one’s identity, if it’s only rooted in labels like producer and professional football player, comedian, maybe even husband and father. As important as they are to us to do well, the human beings we are, under all those labels, have to be able to survive the crush of failure. You can’t stop fighting for your own life.

  2. Adam McPhee says:

    Don Cornelius’s decision to take his own life seems to mirror that of my own grandfather’s. His “life” wasn’t what he considered living, and so he chose to end it on his own terms. I accepted my grandfather’s choice, and I accept Cornelius’s right to a good death as he chose for himself.

  3. Not buying it says:

    Celebrities! !??

    That’s the tip of the iceberg Sir

    Take a look at the government stats when it comes to male suicide rates, not to mention the hidden part of which is slow death by alcohol & drugs not to mention the untold numbers in hospitals, jails or worst of all, even worse then death, an asylum.

    As a man what is expected of me & every other man as I understand it can be captured by the statement ” make it or die trying “.

    That could be anything , not just money.

    What is

  4. For me, a black man who suffers from depression, I have found that trying to live up to the ridiculous definitions of masculinity thrust upon me by my community and by America is a big determinate.I have since commited to rejecting these demands, which cannot be met.For instance, my oldest brother had to give up a promising baseball career to fight in Vietnam. He did two tours of duty.He came back to the pressures of having to provide and protect his family in a racist society,while no one was protecting him or even thought it was necessary. In my community men are expected to be uber masculine and even when he is, because black women are considered to be the backbone of black culture ( a lie which I grew to hate) he doesn’t get the credit or respect he deserves.The black church stupidly and destructively supports the super blackwoman thesis.In my view, this leaves little room for me, as a man.In fact, I think the black church is one of the worst advocators of behavior that is detrimental to black people as a whole. They think that every problem can be solved by saying God is good or by giving all of one’s problems to the lord or by saying the right prayers or going to church. My Facebook page is filled with a persistent stream of this never-ending nonsense. I have for 50 years heard about how there are not any “good” black men available for marriage and about how all of the real serious problems facing my community would disappear if men would just man up! After all she’s perfect.So I’m expected to fight in war after war war (WW1, WW2,Korea,Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan) get over PTSD on the strength of my manhood, face and overcome chronic unemployment or underemployment,not be killed by racist cops, lead my family and community,save the next generation, all for someone who is telling me how to be a man.Something they know little about.It’s tough going against one’s community and I am lonely sometimes.But I’m my own man playing by a definition of my own design. I stay in the gym because it helps me monitor my body chemistry. And I give back to my community as a coach and mentor which also helps my depression

  5. @Justin: Sorry about the last post.I am a little learning challeged and editing even simple writing for me can be challeging.What I meant to say is your offer is flattering and I will start this weekend. Is there a specific angle you wish me to pursue?


  1. [...] Chris Lighty, a former manager for many Hip Hop artists, recently committed suicide. Of course it isn’t just Black men who have difficulties being open about mental health and mental illness but men of color have an abundance of physical health problems which exacerbate the issue. The actor Micheal Clarke Duncan recently died from a heart attack. Heavy D, Patrice O’Neal, Bernie Mac and other middle-aged Black celebrities also died from preventable diseases. There is much concern within the African-American community regarding cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Mental health and mental illness are aspects of the Black male health crisis that needs to be addressed as well. This entry was posted in Bipolar Disorder, Black Men and tagged black men and mental illness, Black men mental health struggles, Black men mood disorders, mental illness stigma, minority mental health stigma, racial stigma mental illness, Shawn Maxam. Bookmark the permalink. ← Good Days and Bad Days – Riding My Bipolar Waves [...]

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