MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Heavy D was remembered today at his funeral at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon.

The spiritual and musical tribute attracted celebrities including Will Smith, Samuel Jackson, Queen LAtifa, Jay Z, Lil’ Kim, Sean Diddy Combs, and Don King.

“So, Heavy D’s life is a living testimony of saying, ‘Yes I can’ when everybody else says ‘No, you can’t’,” King said.

Heavy D, or Hev, to his fans, died of pneumonia in Los Angeles 10 days ago. He is survived by a daughter.

The viewing and wake service for Heavy D at Grace Baptist Church on November 17, 2011 in Mount Vernon, New York. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Actor Delroy Lindo says the service celebrated the joy of a life cut short.

“A lot of love, a lot of celebration and a profound appreciation for what this young man did in his life,” he said.

Heavy D was born Dwight Myers in Jamaica, one of six children. He grew up in Mount Vernon and turned his love of music into a career.

He had a larger-than-life talent that had wide appeal, and uplifted the spirit of those who knew him in Mt. Vernon, where fans lined the street near the church.

“Loved him. Very nice person. Sweet too, always had kind word to say to you,” said fan Laurie Kelley.

Heavy D helped other entertainers come along, like R&B performer, Usher.

“I was greeted by Hev. I remember his pulling me, get up to the mike, man,” Usher said.

It’s said that unlike many rappers, Heavy D’s faith gave his music a positive note. Dwight Myers was 44.

The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a message for Heavy D’s young daughter, which he said was directly from President Obama.

The note for 11-year-old Xea Myers offered words of encouragement. She also spoke, and told the packed church that her father was “still here, not in the flesh, but in the spirit.”

What did you think of Heavy D? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (12)
  1. Briana Roberts says:

    Loved heavy D RIP.

  2. D Money f cleve. says:

    Complete entertainerner, RIP Hev.

  3. thomas & riley family says:

    My sisters and I are all in our late 50’s and we all loved Heavy D’s music. Rest in peace.

  4. John Gourdin says:

    Hev will be missed. One of the few poplar rappers that can have an impact vocally without all of the unnecessary cursing.

  5. Kenneth Clark says:

    Heavy D will be missed. He leave an important legacy in hip hop. Throughout the 80’s, 90’s, and the millenium, hip hop was about a lot of things; however, positive and clean lyrics was sometime on the back burner. Moreover, imagery in hip hop was a lot of things, but the Overweight Lover Heavy D from “Money Earnin” Mt. Vernon, prooved to the hip hop world that you can be large and encharge without cursing in rap lyrics and still maintain coolnest.

  6. herb says:

    In some ways he was the best rapper of all time,did not have to curse to make good music

  7. Gwen Chestnut says:

    To one of the best rapper and dancer that we were blessed with. Heavy thank you for your presence. .RIP you will be greatly missed

  8. Tara Miller says:

    Heavy was such a light in the music industry. When people said hip hop was violent and misognistic, Heavy D proved them wrong. He music was part of a soundtrack of a generation. Thanks Hev for the good music and the good times. Rest in Peace

  9. Melvo_mp says:

    Why are we all the yahoo comments so bitter? It’s not about this,that or the other person.What have you done today to make the world a better place? We all need to take a moment to look within ourselves and stop looking outside of ourselves.If i fall off a cliff and you fall off the roof of your home and we both die,Does it really matter who hit the ground harder? Were both dead.The Buddha tells us That: There is only one time when it is essential to awaken That time is now.

  10. anne says:

    heavey d your spirit as a man and your music will live on

  11. Carla Headen says:

    Heavy D was a positive influence in Rap music. He was the one and only clean, fun and energetic performer. He made you dance and just feel good with his music. I will forever miss him, but never will he ever be forgotten! Thanks for some of best times in the 80s and 90s.

  12. Kenny Dean says:

    I just wanted to say to Heavy D, that he inspired so many of us in the 80’s and 90″s. I, for one, danced to his songs all the time and even tried to get the part in his dance crew while stationed in Jacksonville fl. He is one of many rappers that left a mark on my heart and he will be truly missed but never forgotten. Rest in peace and I know we’ll see each other soon.

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