Heavy D, the former leader of the hip-hop group Heavy D and the Boyz, has died at the age of 44. The rapper was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles earlier this afternoon and was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. PT. Police are investigating his death but there are no signs of foul play.
UPDATED VIA TMZ:
Heavy D had just returned from shopping and walked up some stairs when he began having trouble breathing. Adam Mills, a designer who was in the building and knew Heavy D, found him leaning against a railing and clearly in distress. Adam tells us he cradled Heavy D in his lap as others called 911. Adam says Heavy D was conscious and said to him, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” When paramedics took Heavy D to the hospital he had a pulse. People in the building are saying he died of a heart attack, but we have not been able to confirm that. Law enforcement sources tell us … no foul play was involved and so far they only know the cause of death was “medical.”
Heavy D, born Dwight Arrington Myers in Jamaica broke into the music industry with Living Large, his first record with the Boyz, in 1987. He went on to even greater success with the hit “Now That We Found Love” in 1991, and recorded theme songs for the television series In Living Color and MAD tv. In recent years, D recorded a series of reggae fusion albums.
In 2003, prompted by his health and due to losing roles in movies the rapper failed to live up to his name after shedding a incredible 125 pounds of weight.
“I went on a couple auditions and one director was kind enough to say, ‘Look, you would’ve had this part but you’re not fitting, you’re stifling yourself.’
“He was right. I kind of always knew it in the back of my mind, and I just woke up on Tuesday and I just kept going.”
Despite the weight loss, Heavy D refused to change his name.
Stating: “There’s a lot of checks involved with Heavy D, so that name stays.”