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Coolio: Gangsta’s Paradise Rapper Dead at 59

Coolio Gangsta's Paradise
Coolio in November 2002 when he performed for U.S. Army soldiers in Bosnia. Public Domain

US rapper Coolio, known for the iconic hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died at the age of fifty-nine.

His longtime manager, Jarez Posey, told US media the artist was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s house in Los Angeles.

Coolio started making music in the 1980s, but he cemented his place in hip hop history when he recorded “Gangsta’s Paradise” in 1995.

It became one of the most successful rap songs of all time, topping on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. It was the number one single of 1995 in the United States for all genres and was a global hit.

According to his official website, the haunting track continues to be widely listened to and has just passed a billion streams on Spotify.

The exact cause of his death on Wednesday has not yet been revealed.

However, Posey told TMZ, which first reported the news, that paramedics believed he may have had a cardiac arrest.

Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey, Jr., won a Grammy for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was part of the soundtrack for the movie Dangerous Minds starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

Over a career spanning four decades he recorded eight studio albums and won an American Music Award and three MTV Video Music Awards.

His other hits included “Fantastic Voyage,” “Rollin’ With My Homies, 1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New),” and “Too Hot.”

He was active right up until his death. Coolio was in the middle of a tour with other 90s stars including Vanilla Ice and Young MC, and they performed in Texas just a few days ago.

“I’m freaking out,” Vanilla Ice wrote on Twitter. “I just heard my good friend Coolio passed away.”

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