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Heavy D

Dead at 44

11/9/2011 5:28 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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5:12 PM:  An associate of Heavy D's just told us the rapper had pneumonia.

4:28 PM:  Law enforcement tell TMZ ... Heavy D had just returned from shopping and walked up some stairs when he began having trouble breathing.  Adam Mills, a designer who was in the building and knew Heavy D, found him leaning against a railing and clearly in distress.  Adam tells us he cradled Heavy D in his lap as others called 911.  Adam says Heavy D was conscious and said to him, "I can't breathe, I can't breathe."  When paramedics took Heavy D to the hospital he had a pulse.  People in the building are saying he died of a heart attack, but we have not been able to confirm that.  Law enforcement sources tell us ... no foul play was involved and so far they only know the cause of death was "medical."

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Rap legend Heavy D -- one of the most influential rappers of the '90s -- died earlier today ... TMZ has learned.

Heavy D -- real name Dwight Arrington Myers -- was rushed to an L.A. hospital around noon today ... and was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1 PM. He was 44 years old.

We've learned a 911 call was placed from Heavy's Beverly Hills home around 11:25 AM to report an unconscious male on the walkway .

When help arrived, we're told Heavy D was conscious and speaking -- and was transported to a nearby hospital.

He died a short time later.

Cops are investigating the death -- and so far, there are no obvious signs of foul play. Police are currently at the home.

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Heavy D had several massive hits -- including "Now That We Found Love." He also wrote and performed the theme song for "In Living Color" ... and appeared as an actor in the movie "Life."

Heavy just performed at the Michael Jackson Tribute Concert in Wales on October 8. He sang "Jam" with La Toya Jackson -- and rocked it (video below).

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Eddie F -- one of the founding members of Heavy D & the Boyz -- issued a heartfelt statement about his longtime friend ... saying, "We were only young kids out of high school when we got into the game just wanting to make fun music filled with love and excitement."

"We always had so much fun as a group. I cherish all the happy times we had together while unknowingly helping to build the movement and legacy we call Uptown Records" ... adding, "I love you Hev and we all will miss you so much."

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526 COMMENTS

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76.

The Real JJ    

R.I.P Heavy D

995 days ago
77.

Jacqueline    

R.I.P. Heavy D! You will truly be missed!!

995 days ago
78.

rdhmommy    

OMG... I am devastated. Makes me so sad. RIP

995 days ago
79.

Matthew    

Hmm, given his size for his age, methinks he may have suffered some cardiovascular problems that probably contributed to his death. That aside though, my condolences to his family. Thank you for showcasing your musical talent to the world Heavy.

995 days ago
80.

JugEars McKenyan Sr..    

Good riddance. One less deviate rapper to pollute the souls of young African Americans before they even have a chance to escape the ghetto's these ghetto rats get rich off Uncle Sambo's welfare dollars not spent on food, shelter and clothing but crack and IPODS and NIKE GHETTO GEAR and on and on. Enjoy your stay in hell you fat phuckkk.

995 days ago
81.

Esther Anthony-Thomas    

Heavy D will always hold a special place in my heart. His music got me through some tough times. He was just the best at what he did. I will always cherish the time we spent together in Hollywood. I love you Heavy.

995 days ago
82.

tlm    

I thought that was Chaz Bono in the picture....I got all excited thinking he had died.

995 days ago
83.

Sonya in Tx    

Loose weight folks. We're eating ourselves into the grave in this country.

RIP to Heavy D. His rap was positive....none of the mysoginistic, violent crap you see now.

995 days ago
84.

Eddy Baskerville    

I'm not a big fan of rap, I'm a old school guy I'm not impressed with lil wayne, kayne,jay z,or any other rappers rap has been around a long time like, hot rod linclon, big bad john and convoy but i did buy a Heavy d cd the man could move and was always positive not degrading women or killing someone or cursing I loved his music and i'll miss him. R.I.P Brother.

995 days ago
85.

YOLANDA HERNANDEZ    

So sad to hear of Heavy D's passing. My heart and prayers go out to his family, and for all us fans who've enjoyed the fun dance music he left us.

995 days ago
86.

Luke D    

The man was a legend. He had reinvented rap, and he had helped launch the dance music sound of the 90s! He was an incredible actor too! Peaceful journey, Heavy D!

995 days ago
87.

MzMiller    

Wow! I am speechless! Rest in peace Heavy.

995 days ago
88.

Thank You Conrad Murray    

RIP

That sucks. I used to listen to him back in the 90's. He had some good songs.

Now this is a music icon to be sad about dying. Not some noseless pedophile that TMZ has to write about every day.

995 days ago
89.

ChuckyDee    

Heavy D, apparently to damn heavy!!

995 days ago
90.

Debi    

OMG! What the F happened? Just saw D on the BET awards and he killed it. Sad. So many young azz ppl dieing. WTF!???? RIP, you will be missed.

995 days ago
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