"I'd like to apologize for the rap," Guadagnino wrote in a post on his blog, after many criticized his ill-conceived new song "Rack City Mix," which he uploaded to his YouTube page Wednesday. "Was meant to be a funny take on an already 'dirty' song -- funny since I'm known as the 'good boy.'
"I am, and I am 100 percent against violence of any kind," Guadagnino continued. "I work with many organizations to stop violence and bullying, and will continue to. It's something I strongly believe in. Very sorry to anyone I've offended."
The reality TV star ignited a firestorm Wednesday with a new song entitled "Rack City Mix" -- posted on his YouTube channel -- which contained lyrics suggesting a rape-fantasy theme.
That didn't sit well at all with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), which issued a scathing condemnation of the song.
"The lyrics in Vinny Guadagnino's new rap song that glorify rape are ignorant. Trivializing this violent crime sends a dangerous message to the public," RAINN spokesperson Katherine Hull said in a statement obtained by TheWrap. "Use of the term 'actin' like' doesn't mitigate the harm this crime has on survivors of sexual violence. We hope that Mr. Guadagnino will reconsider his stand on this issue and leverage his platform to reinforce a zero tolerance policy for sexual violence, as he has with bullying."
Clearly, the criticism of RAINN -- or some other offended party -- touched a nerve with Guadagnino, who has since pulled the tune from his YouTube channel. He also seemingly addressed the controversy on his Twitter account Wednesday, writing, "Whoa! Some people really know how to take things out of context! #LearnToListenToMusic ...It was fun though!"
Not for everyone, apparently.
Rapper Kanye West led the field of Grammy contenders on Wednesday with seven nominations, including for his album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" and his joint venture with Jay-Z "Watch The Throne".
But British singer Adele -- whose album "21" is the biggest-selling of 2011 -- and R&B artist Bruno Mars were close behind with six apiece, including nods for the three big awards of album, song and record of the year.
Other leading contenders for the major music industry awards show include U.S. alternative rock band Foo Fighters, also with six nominations, while rapper Lil Wayne and newcomer Skrillex had five nominations apiece.
The nominations for the top awards were announced during a televised concert in Los Angeles featuring performances by Lady Gaga, Usher and up-and-coming country singers The Band Perry.
Winners in all 78 categories will be announced at the Grammy Awards ceremony and show on February 12.
Traditional rock bands were largely missing from the leading categories, with hip-hop artists and female singers including Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry grabbing the spotlight.
The best new artist category produced a particularly eclectic mix of female rapper Nicki Minaj, hip-hop artist J. Cole, country sensations The Band Perry, house and electropop performer Skrillex and American folk band Bon Iver.
WEST MAKES GOOD
The seven Grammy nods for West crowned a critical and commercial comeback for the controversial 34 year-old rapper who took a self-imposed hiatus from performing in 2009.
West recorded his best rap album contender "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" in Hawaii after removing himself from the mainstream U.S. music scene following harsh criticism over his 2009 outburst involving country starlet Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards.
West, already a 14 time Grammy winner, was also nominated for song of the year for "All of the Lights" and best rap performance with Jay-Z for "Otis".
Mars, 26, won three of his nominations on the back of his hit song "Grenade" off his debut album "Doo-Waps & Hooligans".
"It feels incredible right now," Mars told reporters.
"I'm so glad the album is being recognized in this way." "This awards stuff, I'm still trying to get used to it. It's hard for me as Adele and Kanye West are incredible, so the fact that the album was nominated in same category is amazing," Mars said.
Adele's six nominations mark the culminations of a momentous year for the 23 year-old singer, who won a Grammy for best new artist in 2009.
The sultry soul singer was recognized both for her album "21", which has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, as well as her two smash singles "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You."
But the London-born singer is currently recovering from surgery on her vocal cords in November after suffering repeated voice problems and cancellations during her U.S. tour this year. It is not known whether she will have recovered in time to sing at the Grammy Awards in February. SOURCE
POLICE have thrown cold water on claims that embattled Deejay Vybz Kartel has escaped from the New Horizon Adult Remand Centre early this morning. Reports have gone viral on the internet and on social networks that the Deejay and seven other inmates held guards hostage at gunpoint minutes after 1:00 am and stole uniforms and a vehicle belonging to the Correctional Services Department before escaping. The police have also dispelled rumours that a guard died from a heart attack and 12 others were injured. Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green told the Observer early this morning that he had no knowledge of the reported jail break. "I know nothing about that. If that had taken place I would would certainly have known," Green said. Police at Denham Town Police station, the closest police station to the remand centre were also unaware of the reports as was the Constabulary Communication Network who also claimed ignorance of any jail break. "It may be an attempt by his cronies to keep him in the news but they don't need to spread rumours to do that because he will be in the news for quite some time," one cop told the Observer. Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adijah Palmer, is facing two murder charges, conspiracy to murder, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of ganja charges. He was arrested on October 1 and has repeatedly been denied bail when he appeared in court. SOURCE
Once the world’s largest airline, American is deeply in the red, and in recent months its cash reserves have been falling. The company says labor contract rules force it to spend many millions of dollars more on operations than other airlines.
In a statement the carrier’s parent company announced plans to continue normal business operations as it seeks court protection to reduce costs and debt. American says flight schedules will be unchanged and its frequent flier program is not affected.
“The consumers, themselves, are probably not going to be affected that much; it’s going to be the employees that are really affected,” says airline analyst Denny Kelly in Fort Worth, Texas. He expects American to emerge from bankruptcy financially stronger than it is today
The nation’s third largest airline also says CEO Gerard Arpey will step down. He’s being replaced by Thomas Horton, currently the company’s president.
Flight operations may be reduced in the future. “Some of the destinations that are not very popular will be probably cut back or maybe eliminated,” says Kelly. Employee pay may be cut. “When they go in and file bankruptcy, then American can set the employee contracts anyway they want.”
American was the only major U.S. airline that didn’t seek bankruptcy protection after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Unlike most other carriers, American did not merge with a competitor, and it was the only major airline to lose money last year.
“American’s customers are always our top priority and they can continue to depend on us for the safe, reliable travel and high quality service they know and expect from us,” said Horton in a statement. “American serves 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories, and we are committed to maintaining a strong presence in worldwide markets.”
The Fort Worth,Texas-based company listed $24.7 billion in assets and $29.6 billion in debt in court papers filed today in New York.
AMR had losses of $162 million in the third quarter and $2.7 billion in the past year while the other major airlines posted profits. United Continental, the parent of United Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, had third-quarter profits of $653 million and US Airways made $76 million.
The airline had been in contract talks with unions representing its pilots, flight attendants and ground crews for more than four years.
GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain said that he opposes the reauthorization of benefits that allow up to 99 weeks of support for the long-term jobless, asking where the help would end, according to the Huffington Post.
"Where do we stop?" he asked Candy Crowley during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union." "Here again, extending unemployment benefits, extending the cut in the payroll tax are just distractions from the bigger problem, which is lack of economic growth which has not been there. Secondly, we're spending money we do not have."
"It's unfortunate that people are unemployed," he continued. "This is one of the reasons that [I] have proposed a bold plan to get this economy going, which you know is 9-9-9. People need to go -- want to go back to work. That's the good news. But this economy's not producing the jobs in order to get 14 million people that are unemployed back to work."
Earlier in the program, Cain reluctantly said he backed extending the payroll tax cut that, like unemployment benefits, is set to expire at the end of the year. But with both items he argued that it would be preferable for Congress to [undertake] significant tax reform instead.
Doesn't Cain realize that unemployment benefits need to be extended at the same time that jobs are being created? Without the extension, more people would fall into poverty. The former Godfather's Pizza executive was a great businessman. Maybe he can dedicate his time to retraining unemployed workers after Republicans nominate a presidential candidate.
Read more at the Huffington Post.
Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez were the big winners at the 2011 American Music Awards Sunday night, a performance-heavy evening dominated by onstage collaborations by the year's highest charting artists.
Taylor Swift picked up three of the biggest awards of the night, including Artist of the Year, Favorite Country Music Album for her third full-length release "Speak Now" and Favorite Country Female Artist for the fourth straight year.
Lopez, who nabbed the award for Favorite Latin Music Artist, broke out her Billboard chart-topping RedOne ode-to-love "Papi" in a rhinestone-covered nude body suit before being joined on stage by fellow Favorite Latin Music Artist nominee Pitbull for their banger "On The Floor." Later, Lopez lent her voice to the hook of will.i.am's new solo track "THE (The Hardest Ever)" in a futuristic black-light dance number that featured video of Mick Jagger performing a portion of the track.
Photo Gallery: Behind the scenes at the American Music Awards
There was more Mick to be had, at least in spirit, when Maroon 5 — who took home the first award of the night, Favorite Rock/Pop Band, Duo or Group — took the stage alongside Christina Aguilera to perform the undisputed song of summer (and Mom favorite) "Moves Like Jagger." Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine then crossed the stage to meet Travie McCoy and Gym Class Heroes, who launched into their Benny Blanco/RoboPop single, "Stereo Hearts."
But GCH wasn't the only artist to make use of a stereo last night. To open the show, Nicki Minaj showed off her most famous, uh, assets in a pair of silver boombox pants. The Young Money femcee plugged herself into David Guetta's turntable stage for a tech-savvy performance of "Turn Me On" and "Moment For Life," as Swift and Selena Gomez rapped along from their seats. Soon after, Nicki won Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist (thanking superfan Swift in her acceptance speech) and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album for her debut "Pink Friday."
Justin Bieber took the stage early and alone in a white leather motorcycle outfit for his ska-inflected holiday hit "Mistletoe" but failed to score any big trophies over the course of the evening, despite a virtual legion of Beliebers.
Following an all-pink acoustic version of her tearjerker "The One That Got Away," Katy Perry, otherwise winless for the night, was presented a special American Music Achievement Award for racking up five No. 1 hits on a single album. Michael Jackson and Prince have also received the award, but Perry is the first female artist to earn the accolade.
Rihanna and Beyoncé, though not in attendance, both picked up awards: Rihanna took home Favorite Soul/R&B Album for "Loud" -- a vote of confidence on the eve of "Talk That Talk's" debut — and Beyoncé was named Favorite Soul/R&B Female artist.
Notable presenters included a very healthy-looking Sean Kingston, recently recovered from a jet-ski accident, and Adam Lambert who hadn't made an AMAs appearance since his controversial 2009 AMAs performance.
American Music Awards 2011 Winners List Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
Favorite Pop/Rock Album: Adele, "21"
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist: Beyoncé
Favorite Latin Music Artist: Jennifer Lopez
Favorite Country Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Bruno Mars
Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group: Lady Antebellum
Favorite Rock/Pop Band, Duo or Group: Maroon 5
Sprint New Artist of the Year: Hot Chelle Rae
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album: Nicki Minaj, "Pink Friday"
Favorite Soul/R&B Album: Rihanna, "Loud"
Favorite Country Album: Taylor Swift, "Speak Now"
The Band Perry — ”If I Die Young” Fast, Free Video Hosting & Video Sharing - VideoBam.
Kelly Clarkson — ”Mr. Know It All” Fast, Free Video Hosting & Video Sharing - VideoBam.
Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera — ”Moves Like Jagger” / Gym Class Heroes — ”Stereo Hearts”
CAIRO — Over 50,000 Egyptian protesters flocked to Cairo's Tahrir Square Friday to pressure the military government to transfer power to elected civilian rule, after the cabinet tried to enshrine the army's role in a constitutional proposal.
The protesters, mostly bearded men and veiled women, sang religious chants before Friday prayers, while others handed out flyers demanding the withdrawal of the constitutional proposal and presidential elections be held no later than April 2012.
"Does the government want to humiliate the people? The people revolted against Mubarak and they will revolt against the constitution they want to impose on us," a member of an orthodox Islamic Salafi group cried out over loud speakers, to the cheers of thousands of protesters.
The mass rally recalled the demonstrations in Tahrir Square during the 18-day bloody uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak on February 18.
The rally was dominated by the country's most organized political group, the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was called to protest a document floated by the government which declares the military the guardian of "constitutional legitimacy," suggesting the armed forces could have the final word on major policies.
The Brotherhood says the document reinforces "dictatorship," and has promised an escalation if it is not shelved.
Tahrir Square was the epicenter of an uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak from office in February.
Organizers said Friday's rally was an attempt to put "the revolution back on track."
Other groups such as the April 6 movement are demanding a timetable for the end of military rule which began after Mubarak was deposed.
Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Silmi showed a constitutional draft to political groups earlier this month which would give the army exclusive authority over its internal affairs and budget.
But negotiations over the plan between the government and Islamists and liberals have broken down, prompting political parties and democracy campaigners to protest.
"The protest ... is to reclaim power from the army and oppose Silmi's document," said Mohamed Fathi from the youth group the Front to Protect the Revolution.
Any extended protest by demonstrators camping in Tahrir Square could potentially destabilize preparations for a parliamentary vote due on November 28.
Political groups have demanded the military council announce a clear timetable for handing power over to an elected civilian government with a deadline for presidential elections no later than April 2012.
Court records show Studdard filed a contested divorce last week in Shelby County, where he lives in suburban Birmingham. The complaint says he and Zuri Studdard split in October 2010, and she now lives in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna, Georgia.
The complaint cites a "complete incompatibility of temperament" for the divorce, and it asks a judge to enforce a prenuptial agreement that was signed before they wed in 2008.
Studdard was known as the "Velvet Teddy Bear" when he won the second season of American Idol in 2003. Studdard is playing host to a weekend-long event in Birmingham that begins Friday and includes a half-marathon Sunday.SOURCE
The 21-year-old man wanted in connection with a shooting incident near the White House last Friday is now in custody in Pennsylvania.
According to WTOP, Oscar Ramiro Oretga-Hernandez is now in custody of the Pennsylvania State Police, arrested about 12:35 p.m. Wednesday in the town of Indiana, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.
The Secret Service on Tuesday discovered bullets on the White House property, but it wasn't clear if they were linked to Friday's incident, where reports of gunfire coming from Constitution Avenue NW, near the Ellipse and Washington Monument, prompted a major police investigation.
A suspicious car reportedly sped away from the scene westbound on Constitution Avenue and was abandoned at 23rd Street NW, at the entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. A man was seen running from the car and fled across the bridge to Virginia.
A U.S. Park Police spokesman, Sgt. David Schlosser, said evidence in the car linked the gunfire incident to Ortega-Hernandez. But it was unclear whether the gunfire was targeted at the White House.
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were not at the White House at the time of Friday's incident.
Police said Ortega-Hernandez was not tied to any fringe or radical groups. According to The Associated Press, Ortega-Hernandez is from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and was reported missing by his family on Oct. 31.
U.S. Park Police on Monday searched the Occupy DC encampment in McPherson Square, following up on reports of sightings of Ortega-Hernandez among the protest group.SOURCE
Fertility math? Most women flunk, survey finds, Basic conception stats masked by glamorous over-40 mommies like Mariah
From the outside, Holly Finn certainly looks fertile.
With shoulder-length dark hair, smooth skin and a slim but curvaceous figure, the San Francisco-area writer could be any young mom with a baby on her hip.
But at 43, Finn says, her ovaries know better — and she would have, too, if not for what she believes is society’s widespread ignorance about infertility.
“I really feel that there are important pieces of information that don’t get passed along,” says Finn, who has now tried for four years to conceive through in-vitro fertilization. “I actually think it’s quite a brutal dishonesty.”
Most women aren't taught — and don't learn — basic facts about fertility and aging, says Finn, author of the e-book “The Baby Chase." Instead, celeb moms the likes of Salma Hayek (a baby girl at 41), Marcia Cross (twins at 44) and Mariah Carey (twins at 41) make being an older mom look easy — and glamorous.
“It’s not that we’re stupid,” she says. “It’s that we’ve been misinformed.”
As proof, she points to a new fertility awareness survey sponsored by biopharmaceutical firm EMD Serono Inc., with investigators from RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association. It was presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s recent annual meeting.
The poll of 1,000 women ages 25 to 35 who had talked to doctors about fertility found that participants could correctly answer seven out of 10 basic questions less than half the time. The Fertility IQ 2011 Survey found that women were wrong most often about how long it takes to get pregnant — and about how much fertility declines at various ages.
“We were not at all surprised,” says Barbara Collura, executive director of RESOLVE. “This is what we experience every day.”
Most women simply don’t realize that at 30, a healthy woman has about a 20 percent chance of conceiving per month and by the time she reaches 40, her odds drop to about 5 percent, Collura said.
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Instead, many of those surveyed thought that a 30-year-old woman would have a 70 percent chance of conceiving and that a 40-year-old’s chances could approach 60 percent.
They also believed that a 20-year-old woman might get pregnant in less than two months of unprotected sex, rather than the five months that is the average.
“It’s basic biology and basic knowledge of how age impacts your fertility if you’re a woman,” says Collura.
But most women aren’t getting those basics until it’s too late, said Dr. William Schoolcraft, medical director of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine in Denver and two other locations.
"They don't even come in for fertility treatment until they're literally in their 40s," he said. "Some come in and they have run out of time."
In a country where sex education focuses primarily on avoiding pregnancy and preventing sexually transmitted diseases, most women believe that having a baby is inevitably easy.
But that neglects the reality that infertility affects some 7.3 million women in the United States, or 12 percent of the child-bearing female population, and about 1 in 8 couples, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After about age 35, fertility plummets, Schoolcraft said.
So when women decide they want to get pregnant and can’t, they’re stunned. Some of the shock is because of advances in health and beauty that allow women to look — and feel — younger, even as their reproductive systems march on.
“People kind of think now at 40 what they used to think at 30,” Schoolcraft said. “People do yoga and they run and they do all these healthy things. They assume that means ‘I’m not aging.’ But their eggs don’t know that.”
Part of the disconnect is because of advances in infertility treatment, which have helped boost the rates of births among women in their 40s, even as rates have dropped for younger moms. Between 2008 and 2009, births in women aged 20 to 24 reached a record low, falling 7 percent. At the same time, the rates for women aged 40 to 44 jumped 3 percent and births to women older than 50 climbed 5 percent.
Those numbers are exemplified by a series of high-profile births in older celebrities, including icons such as Kelly Preston (son at 48), Holly Hunter (twins at 47) and Jane Seymour (twins at 44.)
The famous mamas may or may not disclose whether they’ve used fertility aids, such as IVF or donated eggs, says Schoolcraft. That further contributes to the notion that it’s never too late to have a baby.
“It sends the message, if she can do it, then Miss Healthy Boring Me, I won’t have any trouble at 41 or 42,” Schoolcraft says.
The trouble is, such thinking can cheat a woman out of her options, Collura says. It’s one thing to postpone children in order to pursue education or a career, fully knowing it might be more difficult to get pregnant later. It’s another thing to be surprised by infertility.
“This is not about empowering women and women’s rights,” she says. “This is about science and biology 101.”
That is precisely Holly Finn’s point. She wishes she had realized earlier the effects that endometriosis and age might have on her ability to conceive. If she had her way, she’d tell women ages 26 to 34 one thing: "Start having babies now."
After eight unsuccessful cycles, Finn is taking a break from IVF therapy, but she plans to pursue other infertility treatments or different paths to parenthood in the future.
“Giving up hope is almost impossible,” Finn says.
After a long and fruitful creative partnership, Lady Gaga has broken ties with creative director Laurieann Gibson. MTV News confirmed the split on Monday (November 14), which came after reports that the two women had a serious falling out.
Gibson has been part of Gaga's inner circle since well before the singer became an international superstar, beginning with the choreography for the 2008 "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" video and continuing through the soon-to-be famous steps in clips for "Just Dance," "Poker Face," "Love Game," "Paparazzi" and "Bad Romance."
The pair were closely associated throughout Gaga's rise to fame, with Gibson providing the choreography and artistic input on such landmark videos as "Telephone," "Alejandro" and "Born This Way." Gibson, who previously appeared on MTV's "Making the Band" with Diddy and the "Starmaker" reality show, has been stepping out on her own lately, including a starring role in the BET dance competition show "Born to Dance" and another dance reality series, E!'s "The Dance Scene."
Gibson also co-directed the Gaga videos for "Judas" and "Yoü and I "but the women reportedly clashed on the set of the former, with Gibson expressing discomfort with the religious imagery in the clip. According to the Reporter, the tension was already showing during the filming of the "Judas" video, during which Gibson told the magazine, "At one point, there was two completely different views and after the third glass of wine, I was like, 'Listen, I don't want lightning to strike me. I believe in the Gospel and I'm not going there."
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She was less adamant when talking to MTV News about the controversy, expressing pride in the final product. "I think the concept stuck with this one because, ultimately, there was a place where we wanted to leave the interpretation up to each individual and not take away [Gaga's] power as a performer, as a dancer, as a star," Gibson explained, alluding to the creative clashes the pair had about the "Born This Way" video. "And to leave the moments for you to interpret and be inspired by the fact that everyone has a Judas in their life and that there is a place of deliverance. For me, I interpret differently than her, and for someone else, they'll interpret it differently."
A spokesperson for Gaga confirmed the split for MTV News.
Gibson also spoke out after she and Gaga failed to see eye-to-eye on the concept for the "Edge of Glory" video. After reports that video vet Joseph Kahn would be directing, Gaga instead went for a simpler cityscape treatment that drew some fire from fans. "Listen u disrespectful f--k they had an issue on set I don't lie!!!!!" Gibson tweeted at the time. "Creative Changes happen always educate ignorant Monster's!!!"
The Reporter noted that relations between the two continued to fray this summer over disagreements about the "Yoü and I" video and Gaga seemed to confirm the end with a November 6 tweet in which she announced that Gibson's former #2, Richard Jackson, is her new choreographer.
BREAKING NEWS: Funeral Service For Heavy D In NY Fri Nov 18, 2011/Heavy D Visited The Doctor The Day B4 He Died!!
LOS ANGELES — Rap legend Heavy D will be laid to rest in New York next Friday following a public viewing and wake at a Mount Vernon church the day before, a church official said.
The viewing on Nov. 17 will be held at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon from noon to 7 p.m. A wake will immediately follow, ending at 8 p.m., the church official told the Daily News.
The next day, family and friends will gather at an invitation-only funeral service at the century-old church.
Sean (Diddy) Combs, Mary J. Blige and the Wayans brothers are among the celebrities invited to attend the private service Friday, TMZ.com reported.
Heavy D’s grieving relatives met early Friday with their longtime minister, W. Franklyn Richardson, and were scheduled to visit the Yannantuono Funeral Home in Mount Vernon this afternoon, sources said.
“They’re all devastated. His sister is having a hard time. She says it’s not true, that it didn’t happen,” said a close family friend, Eda Phillips, 79, who is the mother of rapper Pete Rock.
“It’s just terrible. I’m going up to see his mother now. This is the third son she has lost.”
Heavy D, whose real name was Dwight Arrington Myers, was returning from a shopping trip Tuesday morning when he experienced difficulty breathing and collapsed in an exterior hallway of his Beverly Hills condo building, police said.
He was conscious and talking when first responders arrived, but died about 90 minutes later at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
A spokesman for the county coroner later revealed Heavy D sought medical attention shortly before his sudden death.
“He had gone to the doctor the day before,” Ed Winter, assistant chief of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, told The News. “He had what appeared to be flu-like symptoms.”
Investigators completed an autopsy Wednesday morning, but declined to give a preliminary cause of death until toxicology tests have been completed; the tests could take six weeks.
“He was taking medication, so we want to see what the levels were,” Winter said.
The Westchester County-bred musician weighed 344 pounds at the time of his death at age 44, Winter said.
“He had a touch of pneumonia, maybe from traveling. He just got back from England,” cousin Ruddy Phillips, 50, told The News after speaking with the entertainer's dad.
Born in Jamaica and raised in Mount Vernon, Heavy D rose to stardom in the 1990s as the frontman for Heavy D & the Boyz, a group that recorded such early hip-hop hits as “Now That We Found Love” and “Nuttin But Love.”
_________________________________________________________________________________________ LOS ANGELES — Rap legend Heavy D knew something was seriously wrong with his health the day before he suddenly collapsed and died Tuesday, officials told the Daily News.
“He had gone to the doctor the day before,” Ed Winter, Assistant Chief of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, told the Daily News. “He had what appeared to be like flu-like symptoms.”
Investigators completed an autopsy Wednesday morning, but declined to release a preliminary cause of death, saying that toxicology tests must first be performed. The tests could take up to six weeks to complete. “He was taking medication, so we want to see what the levels were,” Winter said.
The trailblazing, Westchester County-bred star weighed 344 pounds at the time of his death, Winter said.
“He said he had a touch of pneumonia, maybe from traveling. He just got back from England,” cousin Ruddy Phillips, 50, told The News after speaking with the entertainer’s dad in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Heavy D, whose real name was Dwight Arrington Myers, was taken by ambulance to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday; he died 90 minutes later, police said.
He was conscious and talking, but having difficulty breathing, when officers first arrived at his home after a 911 call was made, said Lt. Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills Police Department.
The 44-year-old rapper was returning home from a shopping trip when he experienced shortness of breath and collapsed in an exterior hallway of his condo building, Rosen said.
“There doesn’t appear to be any foul play. We believe it was medically related,” Rosen said.
Born in Jamaica and raised in Mount Vernon, Heavy D rose to stardom in the 1990s as the frontman for the group Heavy D & the Boyz.
Along with bandmates G-Whiz, Trouble T. Roy and Eddie F., he made hip-hop history with hit songs like “Now That We Found Love” and “Nuttin But Love.”
He also performed the theme song for the 1990s comedy TV series “In Living Color” and later segued into acting, scoring small movie roles, including one in the 1999 film “The Cider House Rules.”
He earned a cameo role as a security guard in the just-released film “Tower Heist,” starring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller.
Heavy D last performed in October, at the BET Awards.
He leaves behind a 13-year-old daughter, with whom he was extremely close, Phillips said.
“He was a really great dad. Everybody is wondering how she’s going to take it now that he’s gone. She loves her dad so much,” Phillips said.
“And his mother is taking it really hard. He’s the third brother in the family to die. Everybody is stunned. No one can believe it. He was so young.”