Heavy D

Mostly Credited As: Heavy D
Sometimes Credited As: Dwight "Heavy D" Myers

Birth Name: Dwight Arrington Myers
Date Of Birth: May 24, 1967 (Age 44)
Country Of Birth: Jamaica
Date Of Death: November 08, 2011
Cause Of Death: respiratory issues

Heavy D

Hip-hop's original overweight lover, Heavy D parlayed an eminently likable persona and strong MC skills into a surprisingly lengthy career, in tandem with his backing group the Boyz. Weighing in at over 250 pounds, his girth could easily have become a one-note premise, but he varied his lyrical concerns to include positive message tracks and fun-loving party jams, and exuded a genuine warmth and respect for women without getting too graphic or sentimental. Musically, his appeal was just as broad -- he was able to mix elements of R&B, reggae, dance, and pop into his music, but his raps were quick-tongued enough that he avoided the accusations of selling out that dogged many other crossover successes of his era. Moreover, he was an all-around talent -- an agile dancer, a naturalistic actor, and an astute businessman who eventually became a label executive. Even after his tenure as a pop hitmaker had effectively ended, he maintained a solid, steady level of popularity all the way through the '90s, and his albums kept on going gold. Heavy D was born Dwight Arrington Myers in Jamaica in 1967 and moved with his family to Mt. Vernon, NY, as a young child. He discovered rap music at age eight and by junior high was making his own demo tapes. He later formed the Boyz with high-school friends DJ Eddie F (born Eddie Ferrell), Trouble T-Roy (born Troy Dixon), and G-Wiz (born Glen Parrish). Their demo tape found its way to Def Jam executive Andre Harrell, who was in the process of forming his own label, Uptown. Harrell made Heavy D & the Boyz the first artists signed to Uptown in 1986, and they released their debut album, Living Large, in 1987. The singles "Mr. Big Stuff" and "The Overweight Lover's in the House" established Heavy D's image among rap fans, and "Don't You Know" was a crossover hit on the R&B charts, narrowly missing the Top Ten. All told, Living Large was a gold-selling hit. The follow-up album, 1989's Big Tyme, was the group's real breakthrough, however. Like its predecessor, it featured production from both Marley Marl and new jack swing guru Teddy Riley. By this time, though, there was a bit more depth to Heavy D's persona, and he was also hitting a peak of consistency as a songwriter. "Somebody for Me," "We Got Our Own Thang," and "Gyrlz, They Love Me" were all significant R&B hits, with the former two reaching the Top Ten; plus, "We Got Our Own Thang" attracted some attention from MTV. Big Tyme went all the way to number one on the R&B album charts and made the Top 20 on the pop side; it was also certified platinum. Unfortunately, tragedy struck on the supporting tour: Trouble T-Roy was killed in an accident on July 15, 1990. He became the subject of Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's elegiac hit "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" as well as a tribute cut on the next Heavy D & the Boyz album, 1991's Peaceful Journey. Peaceful Journey was another platinum-selling hit, thanks to the single "Now That We Found Love," which made Heavy D a full-fledged mainstream success; it reached the R&B Top Five and just missed the pop Top Ten. "Is It Good to You" and the posse cut "Don't Curse" were also popular with hip-hop fans, and he was also a weekly television presence via his theme song for the sketch comedy series In Living Color. 1992's Blue Funk was a tougher effort that broke somewhat with Heavy D's well-established image, and perhaps as a result it suffered from underexposure; nonetheless, it managed to go gold, and the singles "Truthful" and "Who's the Man?" scored with rap audiences. In the meantime, Heavy D had been working on establishing a concurrent acting career and landed his biggest role yet as a recurring supporting character on the Fox sitcom Roc in 1993; around the same time, he became the vice president of A&R at Uptown. Over the next few years, he would also appear as a recurring character on another Fox sitcom, Living Single. Heavy D & the Boyz returned to platinum status with 1994's Nuttin' but Love, which spawned hits in "Black Coffee," the R&B Top Five "Got Me Waiting," and the title track; it also became their second album to top the R&B charts. 1996 was a big non-musical year for Heavy D; he briefly served as president of Uptown Records and made his off-Broadway theatrical debut starring in the one-act play Riff Raff, which was written and directed by Laurence Fishburne. In 1997, he returned to music as a solo act, releasing Waterbed Hev to surprising commercial response; it made the Top Ten on both the pop and R&B charts and produced a Top Five R&B hit in "Big Daddy." His seventh album, 1999's Heavy, became his seventh straight to reach the R&B Top Ten. In the meantime, he appeared in the 1999 Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence comedy Life and landed a prominent supporting role in the Oscar-nominated drama The Cider House Rules. In 2000, he landed a recurring role as a counselor on the Fox high-school drama Boston Public, which lasted for the next several years.

TV Appearances

Main cast 
The Tracy Morgan Show (2003)As: Bernard
Episode Cast Credits 

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) 
  Personal Fouls 13x02: (Sep/28/2011) As Miller's Cousin "Supreme" 

Are We There Yet? (2010) 
  The Mr. Almost Episode 02x25: (Mar/30/2011) As Craig Jerome 

Bones (2005) 
  The Man in the Fallout Shelter 01x09: (Dec/13/2005) As Sid Shapiro 
  A Man on Death Row 01x07: (Nov/22/2005) As Sid Shapiro 
  A Boy in the Tree 01x03: (Sep/27/2005) As Sid Shapiro 

Yes, Dear (2000) 
  Barbecue 06x05: (Oct/12/2005) As Charlie 

Boston Public (2000) 
  Chapter Sixty-Six 03x22: (May/12/2003) As Mr. Bob "Big Boy" Lick 
  Chapter Fifty-Six 03x12: (Feb/03/2003) As Mr. Bob "Big Boy" Lick 
  Chapter Fifty-Three 03x09: (Jan/06/2003) As Mr. Bob "Big Boy" Lick 
  Chapter Fifty-One 03x07: (Dec/02/2002) As Mr. Bob "Big Boy" Lick 

All That (1994) 
  Dr. Joyce Brothers & Sherman Hemsley/Heavy D. 03x14: (Sep/06/1997) As Himself, [Musical Guests]

Soul Train (1971) 
  Heavy D/ Monifah/ Tha Truth 26x24: (Mar/22/1997) As Himself 
  Heavy D/ Force One Network/ P.O.V./ Positive K 22x22: (Mar/13/1993) As Himself 

Living Single (1993) 
  Do You Take This Man's Wallet? 04x09: (Nov/14/1996) As Darryl, [Special Guest Stars]
  If the Crew Fits 02x20: (Feb/23/1995) As Darryl 
  Thanks for Giving 02x12: (Nov/24/1994) As Darryl 

Roc (1991) 
  He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father 03x11: (Nov/16/1993) As Calvin Hendricks 
  Sheila in the House 03x01: (Aug/31/1993) As Calvin Hendricks 
  To Love and Die on Emerson Street (2) 02x25: (May/09/1993) As Calvin Hendricks 
  To Love and Die on Emerson Street (1) 02x24: (May/02/1993) As Calvin Hendricks 

MTV Unplugged (2005) (1989) 
  Uptown Unplugged 04x07: (May/31/1993) As Himself 

Tales from the Crypt (1989) (1989) 
  On a Deadman's Chest 04x03: (Jun/27/1992) As Farouche 

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) 
  Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (2) 01x09: (Oct/29/1990) As Himself 

Booker (1989) 
  Mobile Home 01x21: (Apr/29/1990) As Fatz Turner 
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