Dwight Arrington Myers, the rapper known as Heavy D of Heavy D and the Boyz, has died at the age of 44. The self-proclaimed “overweight lover” was one of hip hop music’s icons, delivering hit after hit of feel-good beats.
Lt. Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills police disclosed Heavy D passed away in a Los Angeles hospital Tuesday after collapsing at his condominium building.
Rosen said Beverly Hills police officers were dispatched to Heavy D’s condominium after obtaining a report of an unconscious person crumpled in the passageway of a building. Emergency workers stated that Heavy D was conscious and communicative, but had difficulty breathing and was transported to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, where he later died.
Rosen said Beverly Hills detectives found no signs of foul play and believe his death is medically related. He explained that Heavy D “was returning home from shopping. He experienced difficulty breathing while walking into his condominium building. He was being assisted up to his apartment by building personnel when he collapsed in an exterior hallway.”
In 1987, Heavy D and the Boyz dropped their debut album Living Large. Their hits included “Is it Good to You, ” “Now That We Found Love,” and “Nuttin’ but Love.”
The Mount Vernon, New York-born lyrical wordsmith was one of hip hop music’s most influential forces and in the mid-1990s, became president of Uptown Records, the label that released most of his albums and was also the home to chart toppers Jodeci and Mary J. Blige. Dwight also created the theme songs for comedy shows In Living Color and MADtv, and appeared on TV shows Boston Public and The Tracy Morgan Show, as well as in the films Life and Step Up.
Most recently, he had a cameo appearance in the just released film Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.
Last month at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards he performed a medley of his past hits. “I’m so glad that we got to work together for his performance at last month’s BET Hip-Hop Awards,” said Stephen Hill, BET’s president of music programming and specials. “Hev was focused, energetic and happy. He worked hard, as he always had, to excite the crowd. Our condolences go to his family and specifically his daughter who he doted on. He was a unique figure in hip-hop and will be missed.”
The last tweet from Heavy D posted Tuesday morning read “BE INSPIRED!”
“Many are called, but the chosen are few”, – Heavy D