Hip-hop artist Heavy D (L) and singer Erykah Badu
File Photo: Hip-hop artist Heavy D (L) and singer Erykah Badu pose during a photo opportunity for the 12th annual Soul Train Music Awards in Beverly Hills in this January 28, 1998 file photo. Reuters

The legendary rapper and Jamaican-born American actor, Heavy D, died aged 44 after he collapsed outside his Beverly Hills home due to breathing troubles Tuesday.

The first rapper-turned-actor, whose real name is Dwight Arrington Myers, breathed his last when he was being taken to a Los Angeles hospital, after he complained of having breathing troubles in the afternoon, his representatives confirmed TMZ.

Myers was conscious and speaking when the emergency squad arrived. Adam Mills, who first spotted Myers leaning against a railing of the stairs, quoted him as saying, I can't breathe, repeatedly for a couple of times before he died.

Meanwhile, some people in the building said that he died of a heart attack while his associate told TMZ that the rapper had pneumonia.

Police, investigating the sudden death of 44-year-old rapper, declined any obvious signs of foul play. They said the cause of death was medical.

The leader and the former signer of a hip hop group Heavy D & the Boyz performed live for the last time at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards in October and at Michael Jackson tribute show in Cardiff, Wales last year.

Remembered for his songs like Now That We Found Love and Nothing But Love, Heavy D released total seven albums from 1987 to 2008 and his last album Love Opus was released in September last.

Eddie F, one of the founding members of Heavy D & the Boyz, told TMZ: 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, adding. I love you Hev and we all will miss you so much.