Rapper and actor Coolio, best known for his 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died at the age of 59, according to his manager. Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., the artist was pronounced dead Wednesday after paramedics were called to a Los Angelis, California residence for an unspecified medical emergency, law enforcement sources told TMZ.
An official cause has not been determined, although a medical examiner will reportedly make a final conclusion after an autopsy.
Coolio’s manager, Jarez Posey, confirmed the death to various media outlets, including Rolling Stone, and stated that first responders suspect he suffered cardiac arrest. He added that the rapper was visiting a friend in Los Angeles, but was found collapsed on the floor after not being able to get out of the bathroom for a while.
Coolio embarked on a music career in the 1980s after arriving in Compton, California, and became a household name with his 1995 hit ‘Gangsta’s Paradise,’ which was recorded for the soundtrack to the film ‘Dangerous Minds. ‘ and held the No. 1 position for three weeks in a row. The song became one of the most successful hip hop tracks of all time, winning a Grammy Award in 1996 and being nominated for another five. Several other songs, such as ‘Fantastic Voyage’ and ‘1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New),’ also garnered praise at the American Music Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. His most recent studio album, ‘From the Bottom 2 the Top’, was released in 2009.
Coolio also amassed a long list of television and film credits throughout his career, in many cases making cameo appearances as himself, and appeared on various reality shows in the 2000s and 2010s. He briefly starred in his own show, ‘Coolio’s Rules’ in 2008, highlighting the rapper’s family life and efforts to raise his six children as a single father.
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