Heavy D, one of the most influential and identifiable rappers from hip-hop's golden age, passed away today at the age of 44. Grandmaster Flash was the first to break the news of Heavy D's death, which TMZ has since confirmed. No cause of death has been reported yet, but the rapper was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital at noon today and was pronounced dead soon after. TMZ writes that Heavy D was seen unconscious outside his Beverly Hills home, but that he was cognizant and speaking in the ambulance. Police are investigating the death, but they don't suspect foul play. Just last night, Heavy D was tweeting tributes to boxer Joe Frazier, who died yesterday.
Born Dwight Arrington Myers, Heavy D, along with his group the Boyz, became mainstream stars in the late 1980's on the strength of 1987's Living Large and 1989's Big Tyme, both of which are now considered hip-hop classics and pioneers in the New Jack Swing genre. 1991's "Now That We Found Love" became the biggest hit for the Overweight Lover -- a self-deprecating moniker that Heavy often called himself -- and the group's most lasting track. Thanks to his smooth delivery and innocuous but clever rhymes, Heavy became a favorite of everyone from Will Smith to Michael Jackson, who recruited D to guest on his single "Jam."Read More »from Rapper Heavy D Dead at 44