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Rap star Heavy D dead at the age of 44

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 9th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rap artist Heavy D -- real name is Dwight Arrington Myers, has died. The 44-yerar-old singer was found collapsed at his Beverly Hills home and died shortly afterwards at a Los Angeles hospital. His cause of death has not yet been determined.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Myers was pronounced dead at the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Tuesday.

Myers was the youngest of six children. His mother Eulah, a nurse, and father, Clifford, a film technician, moved the family to Mount Vernon, N.Y., when he was young.

Heavy D found success in the music industry despite having dropped out of school after the eighth grade. Myers won praise for his radio-friendly, playful flows and was embraced as an unlikely sex symbol by female fans who called him a "big teddy bear."

Suave and profane-free in his raps, Myers was often heralded as the "Barry White of rap" - an image he played up on hits such as "Mr. Big Stuff," and "Big Daddy."

Myers' hip-hop recording career began in 1987 with his group Heavy D & the Boyz. On his first album, he played up his obesity with the hit single "The Overweight Lover's in the House." Heavy D weighed more than 300 pounds at one point, but had slimmed down in recent years. Another one of his breakthrough hits came in 1991 with a remake of the O'Jays' "Now That We Found Love."

Heavy D's rapping was also featured on Janet Jackson's 1990 hit "Alright." He also rapped on Michael Jackson's 1991 hit "Jam," which he performed at last month's Michael Jackson tribute show in Cardiff, Wales.

A man of many talents, Myers composed and performed the theme songs of several television shows, including "In Living Color," "MADtv" and "The Tracy Morgan Show." His final CD, "Love Opus," was released this year.

Heavy D also pursued an acting career. In addition to the film "The Cider House Rules," Heavy D also appeared in "Life" and "The Deli." He also played a courthouse guard in the Eddie Murphy film "Tower Heist," released last weekend.

Heavy D used his Twitter account Monday night to express sadness about the death of boxer Joe Frazier: "SMOKIN JOE FRAZIER...RIP... truly one of the best heavyweight champs that ever lived... GODS SPEED, MR FRAZIER!"

Heavy D's last Twitter message, posted late Monday, was: "BE INSPIRED!"

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