The popular Mc, real name Dwight Arrington Myers, was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital at around noon local time on Tuesday with a mystery ailment. He was pronounced dead at 1pm.
The hip-hop star rose to fame in the late 1980s with his group Heavy D & the Boyz after they released their debut album, Living Large, in 1987. They went on to record the theme tune for hit U.S. TV show In Living Color before Heavy D branched out as a solo act.
He released a total of seven studio albums throughout his career and scored hits with singles such as Got Me Waiting, Big Daddy and his cover of The O'Jays' Now That We Found Love, which was released in 1991.
He featured on Michael Jackson's song Jam and was among the stars who paid tribute to the late pop icon at October's Michael Forever event in Wales. The rapper also collaborated with the King of Pop's sister Janet on her hit single Alright.
He returned to the stage for the first time in 15 years for a special performance at last month's 2011 Bet Hip Hop Awards.
Heavy D enjoyed film success too, landing roles in films like Eddie Murphy's 1999 comedy Life and 2006 dance movie Step Up. He reunited with Murphy for a cameo in his new film Tower Heist.
No further details about his death were available as WENN went to press.