Rapper had a string of hip-hop dance hits in the '90s; the cause of death is so far unknown.
By Rob Markman
New York rap legend Heavy D died Tuesday (November 8) at age 44, MTV News has learned through a source.
Heavy, who was born Dwight Arrington Myers, was most known for his role in the group Heavy D & the Boyz. Together, the group recorded an array of hip-hop dance hits like 1991's "Now That We Found Love" and 1994's "Nuttin' but Love." Aside from his own hits, Heavy rapped on Michael Jackson's 1991 hit "Jam" and a remix to Janet Jackson's 1990 single "Alright" from her Rhythm Nation album.
According to a press release from the Beverly Hills Police Department obtained by MTV News, the Mount Vernon, New York, MC was transported to Cedars Sinai Medical Center after a 911 call was placed from the musician's Beverly Hills home. The call was made around 11:25 a.m. PT to report an unconscious male, but when help arrived, Heavy was conscious and speaking, though he had difficulty breathing. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead just more than an hour later at 1 p.m. PT. As of now, the cause of death is unknown, but there are no signs of foul play.
Beverly Hills detectives revealed that Heavy returned home after a shopping trip. While walking into his building, the rapper/actor experienced difficulty breathing. As he was being assisted to his apartment. he collapsed in a hallway.
Myers also composed the theme song for the 1990s sketch comedy show "In Living Color" and, as an actor, appeared in several television shows like "Roc," "A Different World" and "Boston Public." He also had roles in numerous films like "New Jersey Drive," "Cider House Rules" and, most recently, "Tower Heist" with Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller.
Most recently, the rapper/dancehall singer closed out the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards with an energetic performance consisting of several dance numbers. Heav powered through a host of his classics like "The Overweight Lover," "Mr. Big Stuff," "Is It Good to You" and "I Want Somebody" to the delight of the live crowd.
Heavy was also active on Twitter, often sending positive messages to his followers. His last message, which came earlier Tuesday, read, "BE INSPIRED!"