President Barack Obama praised Heavy D’s musical contributions and shared words of support in a note he sent to the rapper’s funeral on Friday.
In the note — read aloud by the Rev. Al Sharpton at the service in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. — Obama offered Heavy D’s 11-year-old daughter, Xea Myers, his condolences, telling her that “you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers,” The Associated Press reported.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences at this difficult time. He will be remembered for his infectious optimism and many contributions to American music. Please know that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers,” the letter read.
Heavy D — born Dwight Myers — died last week at the age of 44 after collapsing outside his home. His family said the cause of death was complications from pneumonia, the AP wrote. The self-described “Overweight Lover” was 344 pounds when he died.
Heavy D was a major player on the rap scene in the late 1980s and early ’90s and is best known for his hits, “Now That We Found Love” and “Nuttin’ But Love.” He also rapped on Michael Jackson’s 1992 single, “Jam.”
In 2010, Obama told Rolling Stone magazine he was starting to delve more into rap music.
“Thanks to Reggie [Love, the president’s personal aide], my rap palate has greatly improved,” Obama said. “Jay-Z used to be sort of what predominated, but now I’ve got a little Nas and a little Lil Wayne and some other stuff, but I would not claim to be an expert. Malia and Sasha are now getting old enough to where they start hipping me to things. Music is still a great source of joy and occasional solace in the midst of what can be some difficult days.”
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