On this day in Hip Hop history, “The Overweight Lover” Heavy D was born in Mandeville, Jamaica, in 1967. If he were alive today, he’d be 56 years old.
Heavy D, born Dwight Errington Myers, moved to Mount Vernon, New York, in the late 1970s. In the mid-1980s, Heavy D, DJ Eddie F, and dancers T-Roy and G-Wiz signed with Uptown Records and began their journey to fame and adoration as Heavy D & The Boyz. The group’s debut Living Large was released in 1987 and was a marginal success selling 300,000 copies.
The group began to rise in popularity, helping Heavy D to become a pop sensation. The success of the group’s second and third albums, Big Tyme and Peaceful Journey, allowed Heavy D to collaborate with artists like Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, B.B. King, and more. Through the start of the 1990s, Heavy D began making more and more appearances in music videos and on TV, and in films.
In the mid-1990s, Heavy D became the first rapper to run a record label when he became president of Uptown Records. Before becoming president, Heavy D was instrumental in hiring Sean Combs as an intern. He also convinced Andre Harrel to sign Jodeci. As president, Heavy D worked with and developed the boy band Soul for Real and was the executive producer and principal writer for the majority of their debut album. His success as an executive led to him becoming senior vice president of Universal Music.
Heavy D passed away on November 8, 2011, from complications caused by a blood clot in his leg. His final performance at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards was his first televised performance in 15 years. Heavy D’s legacy will live on forever in the work he created and the mark he left on the Hip Hop industry as a whole.