He was born Dwight Arrington Myers, on the 24th May 1967 in Mandeville, Jamaica, to Eulahlee Lee, a nurse and Clifford Vincent Myers, a machine technician. His parents moved the family to Mount Vernon, New York, in the 1970s. There he met and became best friends with Al B Sure. By the time he was eight years old he was already writing and performing rap songs. It was during his teens that he began recording demos and he formed the group Heavy D and The Boyz with high school friends, Eddie “DJ Eddie F” Ferrell, Glen “G-Whiz” Parrish and Troy “Trouble T-Roy” Dixon. Andre Harrell had formed his own record label, Uptown Records in 1986 and the group became its first signing.
They released their debut album, Living Large, in the autumn of 1987 which featured production contributions from Teddy Riley, Marley Marl and Eddie “DJ Eddie F” Ferrell. Singles included “Mr Big Stuff”, “Didn’t You Know” and “The Overweight Lovers” the album achieved gold status. Even from the album title Heavy D set the tone in which his songs would have a light hearted comical feel about them.
In the summer of 1989 the group released their platinum follow-up album, Big Tyme, which saw the group being catapulted into superstardom this opened up his fan base to a mainstream audience. Hits included “we got our own thing”, “somebody for me” and “Gyrl, they love me”. In 1990, the group suffered a serious blow as they lost a close friend and group member Troy “Trouble T-Roy” Dixon in a fatal accident.
Their third album Peaceful Journey released in 1991, and was named in Dixons memory. He retained production from Teddy Riley, Eddie Ferrell, and Marley Marl and introduced his cousin Pete Rock to the roster. This brought the album another platinum disc with hits such as “Now that we’ve found love” which reached No 2 in the UK charts, “is it good to you” and “Don’t Curse”.
In 1994, the group would achieve platinum success with Nuttin’ but Love, it became one of the biggest selling albums of their career. It peaked in at No 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart. Singles included “Black Coffee”, “Nuttin but love”, “Got me waiting” and “Sex wit you”. Heavy D’s musical journey continued with Blue Funk, released in 1993 and then he went solo in 1997 with Waterbed Hev and Heavy released 1999. He became the first Hip Hop artist to be featured on both Jackson albums¸ Janet’s “Alright (Remix)” and Michael’s “Jam”. He also featured on “Keep it coming” taken from BB King’s Deuces Wild album. Other albums included Vibes released in 2008 and Love Opus in 2011.
Heavy D also pursued acting landing recurring roles on sitcoms such as A Different World, The Fresh Prince and In Livin Color, this opportunity allowed him to write and perform the theme song. His work could also be found in TV shows such as Bones, Law and Order and films, The Cider house rules, Life and Tower Heist. Last month he performed at the Michael Jackson tribute concert along with La Toya Jackson and performed a medley of hits at the 2011 BET Hip Hop awards.
Heavy D would go on to influence and help launch some of the biggest names in Hip Hop and R&B artists such as Notorious B.I.G., Big Pun, Rick Ross, Monifa, Soul 4 Real to name a few. One of the founding fathers of New Jack Swing and party Hip Hop, this tongue tied lyricist was a testament to the fact that you can rap and keep it clean, never losing his integrity within the music. Ask anyone that met him or had the privilege to know him personally and they would describe him as an all round nice guy, genuine, kind-hearted soul his presence will sorely be missed. Heavy D, we got nuttin’ but love for ya baby!