Heavy D remembered

(NNPA)—Heavy D died Nov. 8 after collapsing in his California home. He was 44.
The Westchester County-raised entertainer was taken by ambulance to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles about 11:25 a.m. and died 90 minutes later, police said.

Heavy D was conscious and talking when officers responded to a 911 call from his Beverly Hills condo, said Lt. Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills Police Department.

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

The world continues to mourn the loss of Rapper just back from performances in London, who was found collapsed in an external hallway at his condo.

He was conscious while being transported to the hospital, but died 90 minutes later in the emergency room.

Lt. Rosen said, “There doesn’t appear to be any foul play. We believe it was medically related.”

Heavy D, born Dwight Arrington Myers on May 24, 1967, came to prominence as a rapper in the late ’80s—early ’90s as the front man with The Boyz. The first act signed by Uptown Records, they’d released five albums by 1994, including three that went platinum: “Big Tyme,” “Peaceful Journey,” and “Nuttin’ but Love.”

His career transitioned away from the stage to the business side of the music industry and then on to television and film. He became president of Uptown Records by the mid-1990s and then later moved to the helm of Universal Music.

At Uptown, he was a mentor for singers Mary J. Blige and Sean “Diddy” Combs. Hip-hop historian Joan Morgan said that Heavy D was the first rapper to run a major music label.

During the late ’90s, he performed in an off-Broadway crime drama, “Riff Raff” and had some recurring television roles on “Boston Public” and “Bones.” He movie credits include “Cider House Rules” and the just-released “Tower Heist.”

But those enterprises did not keep him from recording and performing music. This year he released a new album, “Love Opus” and performed in the Michael Jackson Tribute Concert in Cardiff.

“He was a consummate performer,” said Morgan. “Here’s a guy would/could dance and sing and rap and also had this real commitment to make music that his parents could listen to.”

“… At a time when hip-hop got increasingly more violent and increasingly more misogynistic, he really appreciated Black women and Black beauty.”

Twitter condolences from Heavy D’s friends, producer Russell Simmons and actor and singer LL Cool J. “I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Heavy D. A longtime friend and a beautiful person,” tweeted Simmons.

The post from LL Cool J said, “May GOD embrace the soul of Heavy D and Bless his family. I respected you Heavy and I always will.”

A private funeral was held at Grace Baptist Church of Mount Vernon Nov. 18.

He is survived, by family members, which include his daughter, Xea.

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