News: Diddy, Jay-Z, President Obama, Will Smith & More Bid Heavy D Final Farewell [Video]
Saturday, Nov 19, 2011 9:49AM
Rap moguls Diddy, Jay-Z, Russell Simmons and even President Barack Obama displayed the impact late music icon Heavy D had on them by giving their condolences at his funeral service in Mount Vernon, New York this week.
Although not physically there, President Obama offered words of compassion via a statement read by Reverend Al Sharpton.
'Please know that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers,' read the Obama note, according to the Reverend Al Sharpton, who quoted from it during the service. Xea Myers, Heavy D's 11-year-old daughter, also spoke briefly, telling the audience that her father was 'still here, not in the flesh, but in the spirit.' Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon was filled to capacity for the service, which was also streamed live on the Web. It was so crowded, an overflow area was set up. Among those in attendance were Usher, Queen Latifah, Don King, Q-Tip, John Legend and Rosie Perez. (Daily Mail)
Diddy spoke on his early music days relationship with the "Overweight Lover."
Diddy, Russell Simmons, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith were among the celebrity mourners who gathered in the rapper's hometown of Mt. Vernon, N.Y. today, to bid goodbye to Big Daddy and celebrate his extraordinary life, which was unexpectedly cut short last week at the age of 44. "[Heavy] was the first person to believe in me," said Diddy, otherwise known as Sean Combs, from the altar about their long friendship which began after the '90s hitmaker gave him his first break with an internship at Uptown Records. Other notable guests in the the overflowing Grace Baptish Church included Rosie Perez, John Legend and Johnny Gill. "Just want to say to Heavy: job well done," said Gill during a tearful turn at the podium, before breaking into a heartwrenching performance of the gospel song "Never Would Have Made It." (E! Online)
While a toxicology report is still weeks away, speculation on Heavy's passing suggests medical complications.
Heavy D had returned home from a shopping trip on the day of his death, before experiencing difficulty breathing and collapsing. The results of his toxicology tests could take several weeks to determine an official cause of death. The death is believed to be medically related and foul play is not suspected. A funeral for the New York-born rapper is set for Nov. 18 at the historic Grace Baptist Church of Mount Vernon, NY, at which Diddy and Rev. Al Sharpton are expected to speak. (Billboard)
Following the news, the late hip-hop icon's family released a statement on their loss.
"The name and the success of Heavy D will always be synonymous with music forever. He never compromised his values and artistry, and encouraged his peers to do the same," the family said. "To us, Hev was the one who made us laugh, cry, sing, dance and turn a frown upside down. As a family, we are devastated by Hev's passing but through our faith in God and support from family, friends and fans we are comforted, blessed and will remain strong." (Los Angeles Times)
Check out footage from the funeral below: