Former leader of The Boyz passed away in Los Angeles last night

Rapper Heavy D has passed away at the age of 44.

The hip-hop star, whose real name was Dwight Arrington Myers, was pronounced dead yesterday (November 8) after being found unconscious at his Los Angeles home, reports BBC News. No official cause of death has been named as yet.

Myers rose to prominence as the leader of hip-hop group Heavy D & The Boyz, with whom he released five studio albums. The first of these came in 1987 with ‘Living Large’, followed by ‘Big Tyme’ in 1989, ‘Peaceful Journey’ in 1991, ‘Blue Funk’ in 1993 and ‘Nuttin But Love’ in 1994.

He then went solo in 1997 and released four further albums. These started with ‘Waterbred Hev’ in 1997, then ‘Heavy’ in 1999′, ‘Vibes’ in 2008 and lastly ‘Love Opus’ which was released in September this year.

The rapper also appeared with Michael Jackson on his 1991 track ‘Jam’ and played at the recent tribute concert to Jackson in Cardiff earlier this year. He also recorded duets with the likes of Notorious BIG and Janet Jackson during his career.

Myers also worked as an actor and appeared in the Oscar-winning film The Cider House Rules as well as the newly released Tower Heist. He also had parts in TV shows Law & Order: SVU and Boston Public in the early 2000s.

LaToya Jackson, MC Hammer and Ice T have all paid tribute to Myers, with the latter tweeting that he felt “sick” at hearing the news.