American recording artist Heavy D, the self-proclaimed “overweight lover” of hip-hop, who became one of rap’s biggest stars in the 1980s, has passed away at the aged 44 after encountering breathing problems.
The artist was found lifeless on Tuesday at his Los Angeles residence.
Originally Dwight Arrington Myers, Heavy D was born in Jamaica in 1967.Together with his group “The Boyz”, Heavy D established recognition recording hits with tracks such as “Now That We Found Love”.
He took part on Michael Jackson’s 1991 song Jam. In addition, he performed at the Michael Jackson’s homage concert that was hosted in Cardiff.
According to a tweet from Michael Jackson’s sister, La Toya “My heart goes out to the family and [loved] ones of Heavy D,” La Toya was with Heavy D at the Cardiff event on 8 October.
Even though he was well known for being large in size, Heavy D never allowed his size to be the major characteristic that defined who he was.
The charming MC was more often a seducer and a comic. “What’s it going to be, me or the TV?” he chided his lover on Now That We Found Love, his biggest UK hit.
Together with his group, The Boyz, he set made the blueprint for artist like the;
• New Jack Swing – sparse production
• Big R&B hooks and metallic drum loops
This opened the way for artist such as Bobby Brown and Blackstreet.
His albums that went platinum in the United States are;
• Big Tyme (1989)
• Peaceful Journey (1991)
• Nuttin’ but Love (1994)
In the early 1990s, he made duets with Notorious BIG and Janet Jackson, brazenly describing Janet Jackson as “a walking bank vault” on her hit single Alright.
His music suffered as his acting career took off, with appearances on TV shows such as Law & Order: SVU and Boston Public in the early 2000s.
He also made select film appearances, with roles in The Cider House Rules and, in recent times, in conjunction with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy in the comedy Tower Heist.
Nevertheless, he never stopped creating music and his most recent album, Love Opus, was seen as a comeback to form when it was released in September this year.
Heart of gold
Rapper Ice T was one of the rappers who gave his condolences, saying he felt “sick” when the news about Heavy D’s death broke out.
He wrote, “Stop for a second, take a breath and realize how lucky you are to be alive,” after receiving the sad news.
MC Hammer took to Twitter and tweeted the following;
“We had a lot of great times touring together,”
“He had a heart of gold.”
According to Lt Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills police, the rapper experienced breathing problems while he was returning home from shopping.
Heavy D collapsed in an exterior hallway and was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Centre where he finally passed away.
Heavy D has a daughter named Xea.