A private funeral for late rapper Heavy D (born Dwight Errington Meyers) will take place Friday, but on Thursday (November 17), his family held an open memorial service from noon to 6 p.m. at the Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York. Fans were given a chance to say goodbye to the Overweight Lover, as he was affectionately known.
The weather in New York had dipped into the 40s, but that didn’t prevent fans and friends — including the Wayans brothers — from showing up to pay their final respects. Outside the Grace Baptist Church, police officials set up barricades that stretched as far as three city blocks.
A steady stream of visitors, heavy with high school students, made their way inside for a last glimpse of the local hero. Once inside, ushers guided fans to the front of the church, where Heavy D lay in an open casket, dressed in a gray suit, with his arms folded. Just above his casket, a video monitor played footage of the Jamaican-born performer from his early days. After fans paid their respects, Heavy’s family did their best to thank each and every visitor as they exited the church.
On Friday, guests at Heavy D’s invite-only funeral services will include Mary J. Blige, Diddy (who both worked with Heavy at Uptown Records) and DJ Eddie F and G-Wiz, his group members in the popular ’90s outfit Heavy D & the Boyz.
Heavy D was rushed to the hospital last week after collapsing in his Beverly Hills home. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward, at the age of 44. The Los Angeles coroner’s office has not yet announced an official cause of death.