On November 8, police arrived at Heavy D's Beverly Hills home where they found the Jamaican-born rhyme smith alive but having difficulty breathing. He was taken to Cedars Sanai where he was later pronounced dead.
Heavy D first rose to fame in the late 80s as part of Heavy D and the Boyz. A world apart from such hardcore acts as NWA, HDATB shared more in common with R&B flavored groups as Bell Biv Devo and Kid N Play.
Videos from the era show the rapper, known for his formidable girth, surprisingly light on his feet, nimbly bouncing around the set while backed by skittering drum beats. In addition to music, Heavy D was also an accomplished actor appearing on both TV and in films. He played the character Peaches in the 1999 film Cider House Rules.