Heavy D's former bandmate Eddie F has paid tribute to the hip-hop icon following news of his death on Tuesday (08Nov11).
The rap veteran was reportedly found unconscious near his home in Beverly Hills, California and admitted to a hospital in Los Angeles, where he was pronounced dead.
The news quickly swept across the hip-hop world, with stars including Nas, Common, Pharrell Williams and Nelly among the first to pay tribute to the late rapper on Twitter.com.
Now Eddie F, who was one of the founding members of Heavy D & the Boyz, has issued an emotional statement remembering his friend.
He tells Tmz.com, "We were only young kids out of high school when we got into the game just wanting to make fun music filled with love and excitement.
"We always had so much fun as a group. I cherish all the happy times we had together while unknowingly helping to build the movement and legacy we call Uptown Records. I love you Hev and we all will miss you so much."
Other stars have flooded social networking sites with messages of condolence, with Sean 'Diddy' Combs writing, "My heart is broken. Pls (please) pray for my man Heavy D and his Family... Love you boy. 4ever (forever)!"
Wyclef Jean adds, "I am in the Middle East and I just heard that a great hip-hop icon past away one of my favourite ones, R.I.P. to Heavy D."
Boxer-turned-actor Mike Tyson revealed he said goodbye to his pal during a dinner last month (Oct11), writing, "I just spoke to Heavy D's mother and gave my condolences. I'm at a loss for words. A good man. He will be missed. I was just with Heavy D in L.A. last month @ (at) Manny's restaurant with our old crew. We said it was a reunion but we were really saying goodbye."
Missy Elliott adds, "U (sic) will be missed Heavy D so many laughs we've shared but your music is timeless and will always be around 4ever (forever) love u Heav..."
Michael Jackson's sister La Toya also expressed her shock at the loss of the star, real name Dwight Myers, who performed with her at the Michael Forever tribute concert in Cardiff, Wales several weeks ago.
She tells Tmz, "This is very shocking and a tragic loss. I just performed with Heavy D at the Forever Michael (sic) tribute concert and he was a friend to Michael and a friend to me. We have lost a great person and terrific performer, my prayers and condolences go out to his family and fans."