Rapper Heavy D, who scored hit singles such as Now That We Found Love, died on Tuesday after falling at his Beverly Hills home, according to media reports. He was 44.
Celebrity news website TMZ.com said the rapper, whose real name is Dwight Errington Myers, was found on a walkway and an ambulance was called. When emergency workers arrived he was conscious and speaking but died later at a nearby hospital.
Beverly Hills police confirmed the basic information, but declined to release a name pending family notification. Police Lt. Mark Rosen said a man was found on a walkway at 11:25 a.m. PST, conscious and talking, but having difficulty breathing. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died on Tuesday afternoon.
Further details were undisclosed pending an investigation, but Rosen said there were no signs of foul play. The singer's New York-based agent was not immediately available for comment.
Rotund rapper Heavy D was born in Jamaica and moved to Mt. Vernon, New York as a child. He enjoyed hip hop music as a kid and formed his first group, the Boyz, with high school friends who took the stage names DJ Eddie F, Trouble T-Roy and G-Wiz.
The group became Heavy D & The Boyz and released their first album in 1987, which included singles Mr. Big Stuff and The Overweight Lover's in the House. Their breakout album came with 1989's Big Tyme, which included the hits Somebody for Me and We Got Our Own Thang.
The band met with tragedy in 1990 when Trouble T-Roy died in an accident. One year later, they scored their biggest hit with the album Peaceful Journey and single Now That We Found Love, which reached the top five on R&B charts and crossed over to mainstream pop audiences.
A string of hits followed in the 1990s. The band sang the theme song for popular TV show In Living Color, and Heavy D's 1999 CD Heavy became his seventh album to chart among the R&B top 10.
During those years, the rapper also began acting, working in small roles on film and TV before landing a role in high-school TV drama Boston Public. His film work included parts in The Cider House Rules, Step Up and Big Trouble.
Heavy D performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards and at the Michael Jackson tribute show in Cardiff, Wales, both in October.