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Legendary NY Rapper Heavy D Dies At 44

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Rapper Heavy D speaks during the 51st Annual Grammy awards pre-telecast show held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Rapper Heavy D speaks during the 51st Annual Grammy awards pre-telecast show held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Hip hop fans are mourning the passing of a legendary rapper from New York.

Heavy D, the self-proclaimed “overweight lover” of hip-hop who became one of rap’s top hit-makers with wit, died after collapsing outside his Beverly Hills condo. He was 44.

He performed last month at the BET music awards. His biggest hit was “Now That We Found Love” from the early 90s.

He grew up in Mount Vernon as Dwight Arrington Myers.

He was one of the genre’s most integral stars in the last 1980s and early 1990s, as it relied on new voices and star power to fuel its phenomenal growth in the mainstream.

Combined with the fusion of the “New Jack Swing” musical style, Heavy D was a constant presence on the charts, and a go-to figure for several performers. He collaborated with Michael Jackson on the 1991 single “Jam,” rapped with a young Notorious B.I.G. in 1993 on “A Buncha N—–” and dueted with B.B. King on the 1997 tune “Keep It Coming.”

The last tweet from Heavy D, who frequently filled his timeline with positivity, was posted Tuesday morning and read, “BE INSPIRED!”

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