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Heavy D's grieving family: Rapper had 'heart of gold'

November 15, 2011 |  7:37 am

Authorities seek the cause of rapper Heavy D's unexpected death
As authorities seek the cause of rapper Heavy D's unexpected death, his family released a statement saying they were "devastated" by their loss.

"The name and the success of Heavy D will always be synonymous with music forever. He never compromised his values and artistry, and encouraged his peers to do the same," the family said. "To us, Hev was the one who made us laugh, cry, sing, dance and turn a frown upside down. As a family, we are devastated by Hev's passing but through our faith in God and support from family, friends and fans we are comforted, blessed and will remain strong."

Determining the cause of Heavy D's death has been deferred pending the results of toxicology tests, the L.A. County coroner's office said Monday.

Officials said an autopsy was inconclusive and that it could take several weeks to determine a cause of death.

Ed Winter, a coroner's spokesman, said last week that no illegal drugs were found at Heavy D's Beverly Hills home, but that a doctor had prescribed him medication after the 44-year-old rapper experienced a cough.

PHOTOS: Heavy D | 1967-2011

The planned toxicology tests are common in cases in which a relatively young, healthy person dies unexpectedly. "We need to see what's in his system," Winter said. He also noted that the rapper had recently gone to London.

Heavy D was stricken Nov. 8 while returning to his Beverly Hills condominium after a shopping trip and died a short time later at a hospital, authorities said. He experienced breathing problems at his condo complex on Maple Drive and then collapsed, they said.

"Upon arrival, officers discovered a male, 44 years old, conscious, communicative, but having difficulty breathing," the Beverly Hills Police Department said in a statement.

In their statement, the family said that for all of Heavy D's music success, he was most proud of his daughter.

"He had a heart of gold, was approachable, very personable and gave of himself willingly and unconditionally," the statement said. "Though Hev will most notably be remembered for his work both behind-the-scenes and in the forefront, he will always be remembered by us as a generous soul who remained humble and unselfish till his final days."


PHOTOS: Notable music deaths of 2011

Rapper Heavy D dead after collapsing in Beverly Hills

Heavy D may have died from pneumonia complications

-- Andrew Blankstein and Shelby Grad

Photo: Rapper Heavy D, born Dwight Arrington Myers, performing at the Grammy Awards in February 2009 in Los Angeles. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press