Sources close to legendary rapper Heavy D have told theGrio that he has passed away at age 44 after suffering from a yet to be identified infection.

Acclaimed hip-hop writer dream hampton, DJ Premier and rap icon Grandmaster Flash all tweeted the news of Heavy D’s passing on Twitter. TMZ has also reported the passing of the rapper.

Click here to view a Grio slideshow of rappers who were gone too soon

Heavy D, who real name Dwight Arrington Myers, was born in Jamaica and then his family emigrated to Mount Vernon when he was a child. He scored several crossover hits in the late 80’s and early 90’s, including “The Overweight Lover’s in the House”, “We Got Out Own Thang”, “Now That We Found Love” and the theme from the hit television show In Living Color. He collaborated with both Michael and Janet Jackson and produced the R&B group Soul For Real.

Hip-hop responds on Twitter to Heavy D’s passing

He also branched out into film, theater and television roles. He appeared in the Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence comedy Life, The Cider House Rules, as well as hit shows Bones and Boston Public. He was nominated in 1995 for a Drama Desk Award for his performance as Tony in Laurence Fishburne’s play Riff Raff.

He made his last televised appearance while performing on this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards. He also small cameo role in the new film Tower Heist. His next to last tweet was a tribute to the late Joe Frazier, which read, “SMOKIN JOE FRAZIER..RIP.. truly one of the best heavyweight champs that ever lived.. GODS SPEED,MR FRAZIER!”

He is survived by a single daughter Xea.

theGrio will continue updating this story as more developments emerge.