Heavy D, Hip-Hop Pioneer and Actor, Dead at 44

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Jamaican-born hip-hop legend, actor, and father Heavy D died in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening. He was 44.

On Monday, the singer collapsed at his Beverly Hills home. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he later died, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

No foul play is suspected and his death appears to be "medically-related", according to police.

Born Dwight Arrington Myers in Jamaica on May 24, 1967, to Euhlalee Lee and Clifford Vincent Myers, he immigrated to Mount Vernon, New York, with his family as a young boy.

In 1986, Myers became Heavy D, leader of the band Heavy D and the Boyz, signing with influential record lable Uptown Records -- later becoming its president -- and recording the group's debut album, Living Large, in 1987. Heavy D and the Boyz went on to record four more albums after that, three of which went platinum.

Myers gained more notoriety after recording the television theme songs for In Living Color and MADtv, and performing the rap on Michael Jackson's hit single "Jam" as well as with Janet Jackson's "Alright." In 1997, Myers collaborated with blues legend B.B. King on duets album Dueces Wild, rapping to the song "Keep It Coming."

In the '90s, Myers moved on to acting, appearing on television shows such as Roc, starring with Charles Dutton, Living Single, and Law & Order. His acting resume also includes movies such as The Cider House Rules. And alongside Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller, Myers's latest movie was Tower Heist, which was released last week.

Myers continued to make music throughout his career, recording a reggae-inspired album in 2008 titled Vibes. He also performed as a rapper at the 2011 BET Hip-Hop Awards last summer

Myers's last tweet was, "BE INSPIRED!"

He is survived by his daughter, Xea.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.