Rapper Heavy D Dies at 44

Musician/actor had recently appeared in “Tower Heist” and at the BET Hip-Hop Awards

Heavy D — who became an influential rapper the 1990s with Heavy D & the Boyz — died of unknown causes Tuesday, TMZ reports.

Born Dwight Arrington Myers in Mount Vernon, N.Y., he was pronounced at approximately 1 p.m.

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Emergency responders arrived at Myers' Beverly Hills home after receiving a 911 call reporting an unconscious man on the walkway.

Police told TheWrap that, when responders arrived, Myers was "conscious and communicative, but was having trouble breathing." He was transported to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where he died shortly thereafter.

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Police are currently investigating, and have not yet found evidence of foul play.

As word of his death began to filter out, Myers' compatriots in the hip-hop world began to react, with "The Message" rapper Grandmaster Flash tweeting, "I was just told Heavy D passed away."

Known for his merger of rap and pop, Myers earned five Top-40 albums, and a Top 20 single with 1991's "Now That We Found Love." He also contributed vocals on songs by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. His last record, a digital-only offering entitled "Love Opus," was released in September.

Aside from his rap career, Myers also acted, with roles in the film "Life" as well as the television series "Boston Public." Most recently, he had a cameo as a security guard in the Ben Stiller/Eddie Murphy movie "Tower Heist."

In his first live performance in 15 years, the rapper performed at the 2011 BET Hip-Hop Awards in October.