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By United Press International   |   Nov. 9, 2011 at 4:00 AM
The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

HEAVY D: Dwight Arrington Myers, the Jamaican-born rapper known professionally as Heavy D, died Tuesday, the Los Angeles Coroner's Office said. He was 44.

The hip-hop star performed at the Michael Jackson Tribute Concert in Wales, as well as the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards last month. He also had a small acting role in the new big-screen release "Tower Heist" and the 1999 drama "The Cider House Rules."

"I can confirm that he died today," Craig Harvey, LA Coroner chief investigator, told People.com.

"He was transported from a residence in Beverly Hills and was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room. The cause of death is yet to be determined; we're investigating it now. We do know that he last saw his doctor two weeks ago."

In addition to his music and film work, Myers also made appearances on TV's "A Different World," "Roc," "Living Single," "Boston Public," "The Tracy Morgan Show" and "Bones."


NANCY GRACE: TV host and journalist Nancy Grace and her professional dance partner Tristan MacManus were voted off of "Dancing with the Stars" in Los Angeles Tuesday night.

"I am so proud, but I really cannot take the credit. You know what? It's been all Tristan from the get-go and the whole crew at 'Dancing with the Stars.' My family, who flew out here to take care of my twins, so I could dance. All of you, and especially you, Tristan," Grace said upon learning her fate.

Going into next week's semifinals are reality TV personality Robert Kardashian and Cheryl Burke; actress and talk-show host Ricki Lake and Derek Hough; Iraq War veteran and actor J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff; and World Cup champ Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.


BRETT RATNER: Controversial filmmaker Brett Ratner has stepped down as producer of Hollywood's 84th annual Academy Awards show, organizers announced Tuesday.

The "Rush Hour" director quit after creating a media firestorm for using a homophobic slur while making a joke during a recent public question and answer session following a screening of his latest flick "Tower Heist." At one point during the discussion, Ratner said "rehearsal is for fags."

Although he later apologized for the remark, his critics called for him to be dismissed as producer of the Oscars telecast because of it.

In a letter to the academy Tuesday announcing his resignation as Oscars telecast producer, Ratner called his comments "hurtful and stupid" and apologized "publicly and profusely."

"As difficult as the last few days have been for me, they cannot compare to the experience of any young man or woman who has been the target of offensive slurs or derogatory comments," he said. "And they pale in comparison to what any gay, lesbian, or transgender individual must deal with as they confront the many inequalities that continue to plague our world."

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak said Ratner "did the right thing for the Academy and for himself" by resigning.

"Words have meaning, and they have consequences," Sherak said in a statement. "Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent."

Ratner said he would "be taking real action over the coming weeks and months in an effort to do everything I can both professionally and personally to help stamp out the kind of thoughtless bigotry I've so foolishly perpetuated."

There was no word Tuesday on whether Eddie Murphy -- Ratner's choice to emcee the telecast -- would remain with the show, the Los Angeles Times reported. Murphy is one of the stars of "Tower Heist."


MICHELLE DUGGAR: Already the mother of 19, Arkansan Michelle Duggar says she is expecting her 20th child.

"I was not thinking that God would give us another one, and we are just so grateful," Duggar, 45, told NBC News Friday.

Father James Robert -- or Jim Bob -- said their children, who span from 23 years to 23 months old and all bear names beginning with the letter "J," thought he was joking when he informed them, "Smile -- Mom's going to have another baby!"

"Their mouths dropped," Michelle laughingly said. "They all looked at me to see if he was joking."

The Duggars, who live in Tontitown, have their own reality television show on The Learning Channel, "19 Kids and Counting."

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar eschew birth control and say they leave family planning up to God, NBC reported.

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