The hip hop world was stunned today, as word spread that Heavy D, veteran rapper and frontman of Heavy D & The Boyz, passed away at a hospital in Los Angeles. TMZ stated that Heavy D, real name Dwight Arrington Myers, was taken to a hospital but did not survive. Details regarding the cause of death are still unclear, though TMZ is quoting an associate of Heavy D as stating the rapper had pneumonia. Heavy D was 44.
Heavy D, known for songs like “Now That We Found Love,” “Mr. Big Stuff,” and “Nuttin’ But Love’” also had stints as an actor on television and in movies, including the recent Tower Heist film, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. In the past, the rapper had also appeared on shows such as Bones and Boston Public.
Recently, Heavy D made an appearance at the 2011 BET Hip-Hop Awards with an energetic throwback performance, dancing and rhyming through a flurry of his classic songs. Heavy D, who was no longer as heavy as he once was, showed youthful exuberance during his time on stage.
Reports state that Heavy D had been found by a neighbor “in distress,” complaining he was not able to breathe. Paramedics were called, and though Heavy D was “conscious and speaking” with a pulse, he died shortly after being taken by ambulance from his home.
Heavy D had just appeared on Tim Westwood’s UK radio program, speaking on hip hop, producing, touring, working with some of the genre’s great artists, and the making of “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” the classic Pete Rock & CL Smooth track crafted as a tribute to Trouble T-Roy, a member of Heavy D’s The Boyz, who passed away in 1990.
We will update as more becomes known. In the meantime, we send our deepest condolences to friends and family of Mr. Big Stuff, Heavy D.