Tribute Sundayz – R.I.P To All The Fallen Legends – Heavy D

Heavy D

Background information

Birth name – Dwight Errington Myers[1]
Born – May 24, 1967
Mandeville, Jamaica
Died – November 8, 2011 (aged 44)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Genres – Hip hop, new jack swing, R&B, reggae fusion
Occupations – Rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, music executive, record producer
Years active – 1985–2011
Labels – Uptown, MCA
Associated acts – Heavy D & the Boyz, Mary J. Blige, Super Cat

Dwight Errington Myers[2] (May 24, 1967 – November 8, 2011),[3] better known as Heavy D, was a Jamaican-born American rapper, record producer, singer, actor, and former leader of Heavy D & the Boyz, a hip hop group which included dancers/background vocalists G-Whiz (Glen Parrish), “Trouble” T. Roy (Troy Dixon), and Eddie F (born Edward Ferrell). The group maintained a sizable audience in the United States through most of the 1990s. The five albums the group released were produced by Teddy Riley, Marley Marl, DJ Premier, his cousin Pete Rock and Eddie F.[4]

Biography

Myers was born on May 24, 1967 in Mandeville, Jamaica, the son of Eulahlee Lee, a nurse, and Clifford Vincent Myers, a machine technician.[5] His family moved to Mount Vernon, New York, in the early 1970s,[6] where he was raised.[7]

Heavy D & the Boyz were the first group signed to Uptown Records, with Heavy D as the frontman and only rapper, and Eddie F was his business partner in the group, DJ, and one of the producers. The other two members, T-Roy and G-Wiz were the dancers. Their debut, Living Large, was released in 1987. The album was a commercial success; Big Tyme was a breakthrough that included four hits.

Dancer Troy “Trouble T. Roy” Dixon died at age 22 in a fall on July 15, 1990, in Indianapolis. Dixon’s death led to a tribute on the follow-up platinum album, Peaceful Journey. Pete Rock & CL Smooth created a tribute to Trouble T. Roy called “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” which is regarded as a hip hop classic.[4]

Heavy D gained even more fame by singing the theme song for the television program In Living Color and also MADtv. Heavy D performed the rap on Michael Jackson’s hit single “Jam” as well as sister Janet Jackson’s hit single “Alright”. Heavy D then began focusing on his acting, appearing in various television shows before returning the music charts with Nuttin’ But Love. After appearing in the off-Broadway play Riff Raff at Circle Repertory Company, Heavy D returned to recording with the hit Waterbed Hev.[4] In 1997, Heavy D collaborated with B.B. King on his duets album Deuces Wild rapping in the song “Keep It Coming”. Heavy D was referred to in the song “Juicy” by the Notorious B.I.G., and appeared in his music video for “One More Chance”.

While still an artist at Uptown Records, Myers was instrumental in convincing Andre Harrell to originally hire Sean “Diddy” Combs for his first music business gig as an intern. Then also to his credit, in the mid-1990s, Myers became the first rapper to head a major music label, when he became the president of Uptown Records. During this time, Myers also developed the R&B boy band Soul for Real, and was the executive producer and principal writer of several songs on the group’s breakout album, Candy Rain.[8] He later became the senior vice president at Universal Music.[9]

He fathered a daughter in 2000 during a relationship with chef Antonia Lofaso, a contestant on Top Chef.[10]

Death

Heavy D performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards on October 29, 2011. It was his first televised live performance in 15 years and would be his final live performance. Myers died just ten days later, on November 8, 2011, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 44. He collapsed outside his Beverly Hills home and was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.[7] Heavy D’s death was initially thought to be connected to pneumonia.[11]

An autopsy report, released on December 27, 2011, found that the cause of death was a pulmonary embolism (PE).[12] The coroner’s office found that Myers died of a PE that had broken off from a deep vein thrombosis in the leg. He also suffered from heart disease. The blood clot was “most likely formed during an extended airplane ride,” said Craig Harvey, chief of the Los Angeles County department of coroner. The rapper had recently returned from a trip to Cardiff, Wales where he performed at a tribute to Michael Jackson.[12]

Shortly after his death, MC Hammer and others led tributes for Heavy D on Twitter. Hammer Tweeted: We had a lot of great times touring together. He had a heart of gold. He was a part of what’s good about the world.[13][14]

Discography

Main article: Heavy D discography

Living Large (1987)

Big Tyme (1989)

Peaceful Journey (1991)

Blue Funk (1993)

Nuttin’ But Love (1994)

Waterbed Hev (1997)

Heavy (1999)

Vibes (2008)

Love Opus (2011)

Filmography

Who’s the Man? (1993)
New Jersey Drive (1995)
B*A*P*S (1997)
The Cider House Rules (1999)
Life (1999)
Big Trouble (2002)
Larceny (2004)
Step Up (2006)
Tower Heist (2011)

Television appearances

A Different World episode “Delusions of Daddyhood”

Roc (recurring)

Tales from the Crypt episode “On a

Deadman’s Chest”

Living Single (recurring)

Boston Public

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, 2 episodes:
“Someday Your Prince Will Be In Effect” (Parts 1 & 2) aired 29 October 1990.[15]

(Will and his Grandma also went to a Heavy D concert in the
eighteenth episode of the first season, “The Young and the Restless”.)

The Tracy Morgan Show

Bones

Tyler Perry’s House of Payne episode “Dream Girls”

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode “Personal Fouls”

Yes, Dear

Heavy D legacy lives on
through ‘Big Tyme’ hip-
hop hits that earned cult
stardom

Jim Farber
Mark J. Terrill/AP

Heavy D performs during 2009 at the 51st
Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
With his laid-back flow, playful grooves and
ever-enjoyable verse, Heavy D leaves behind a
sweet legacy.

Some of his best loved songs saw him having
confident fun with his girth, including jams like
“The Overweight Lover’s In The House” and his
twist on the ’70s hit “Mr. Big Stuff.”
From the start, Heavy — born Dwight Arrington
Myers — stressed rap’s roots as party music.
Countering the harder, darker hip-hop trends of
the late ’80s and early ’90s, Heavy made
lightness a virtue.
But he was no clown. His musical flow had its
own striking rhythm, and his verse showed
serious attention to the craft of being clever.

Born in Jamaica, Heavy formed his key group
Heavy D and the Boyz at the height of the new
jack swing, R&B trend of the ’80s.
His group of “Boyz” — which included G-Whiz
(Glen Parrish), “Trouble” T. Roy (Troy Dixon)
and Eddie F (Edward Ferrell) — became the first
group ever signed to the influential Uptown
label.

Their 1987 debut, “Living Large,” made them
cult stars. But its follow-up, ’89’s “Big Tyme,”
became a smash, studded with no fewer than
four hits.
After the death of Trouble T. Roy, at age 22, the
group saluted him on their next album, 1991’s
“Peaceful Journey,” which went platinum.

Heavy D also made history by singing the
theme song for the breakthrough African-
American comedy show “In Living Color.”
As a solo performer, Heavy performed the rap in
Michel Jackson’s smash single “Jam,” giving the
song extra rhythm and oomph. Heavy
performed similar honors for Janet Jackson’s hit
“Alright.”

As the ’90s went on, Heavy D enjoyed less
success as a rapper, but made up for it with
acting. He performed a surprising variety of
parts on TV shows like Boston Public and the
Tracy Morgan show, as well as in films like “The
Cider House Rules” and “Big Trouble.”
To prove the rap community’s affection for him,
several emcees playfully alluded to Heavy in
song, including the Notorious B.I.G., with
“Juicy,” and the cult rapper R.A. The Rugged
Man in “Da Girls They Love Me.”
Just last month, Heavy turned up on the BET
Hip-Hop Awards, his first live appearance in 15
years. He also put out a new album this year,
“Love Opus.”

But Heavy had his biggest impact with his
songs in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the best
of which pushed hip-hop’s joyous side.

Red Everything Movement

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