Heavy D, a rapper who rose to fame in the 1990s with hits such as "Now That We Found Love," has died at age 44.
The hip hop star, who was also an actor, was pronounced dead at a Beverly Hills hospital on Tuesday, November 8, around 12 p.m. local time, OnTheRedCarpet.com has learned. The cause of death has not yet been announced.
Authorities had received a 911 call about a man lying in a walkway near a condominium, police said, adding that an officer was sent to the area saw Heavy D, who was "commuicative" but having trouble breathing. Paramedics transported him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police quoted staff members of the building as saying Heavy D had returned home from a shopping trip and had difficulty breathing as he walked down a hallway. He collapsed as they tried to help him.
"There are no obvious signs of foul play, and at this time his death is believed to be medically related," police said in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com. "The actual cause of death will be determined by the LA Co. Coroner's Office. Next of kin have already been notified."
Heavy D's last message on his Twitter page, posted a day earlier, said: "BE INSPIRED!"
He also Tweeted his condolences over the recent death of heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, who passed away on Monday at age 67.
Heavy D was born as Dwight Arrington Myers in Jamaica and was raised in New York. He began his music career as a young adult and formed a hip hop group called "Heavy D & the Boyz."
The act's debut album, "Livin' Large," was released in 1987. A year later, sophomore record "Big Tyme" hit stores and went platinum. The group's breakout hit, "Now That We Found Love," was released in 1991 and is featured on the group's third album, "Peaceful Journey." Heavy D & the Boyz also achieved mainstream success with the 1994 song "Nuttin' But Love."
Heavy D released his first solo album, "Waterbed Hev," in 1997. His fourth, "Love Opus," hit stores in September. A month later, Heavy D performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards in October 2011, marking his final major televised performance and his first live one in some 15 years.
Heavy D & the Boyz is also known for singing the theme song for the television program "In Living Color." Heavy D also provided the rap vocals on Michael Jackson's 1991 song "Jam" and on the King of Pop's sister Janet's 1990 song "Alright."
Heavy D also worked as an actor. He starred on the television drama "Boston Public" between 2000 and 2003 and also appeared on "The Tracy Morgan Show." He played Sid Shapiro on the FOX series "Bones" and recently guest starred as a manager of an NBA player on the NBC show "Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit."
The rapper also appears in the new comedy film "Tower Heist," which stars Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller and was released last week. Heavy D played a courthouse guard.
Check out the music videos for Heavy D & The Boyz' hits "Now That We Found Love" and "Nuttin' But Love" below.