Coolio, the US rapper best known for the chart-topping 1995 song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died, his manager said Wednesday. He was 59 years old.
The Grammy-winning musician passed away in Los Angeles. No cause of death was immediately provided.
Coolio’s friend and long-standing manager Jarez Posey confirmed the news to AFP without providing additional details.
Posey told celebrity news website TMZ that Coolio was found unresponsive in the bathroom of a friend’s house on Wednesday afternoon.
Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr on August 1, 1963 in Pennsylvania, the artist spent most of his life in Compton, California, attending community college and working jobs including airport security before finding success in rap.
Coolio began his music career in California in the late 1980s, digging roots in the Los Angeles scene by 1994 when he signed to Tommy Boy Records.
His single “Fantastic Voyage” off his debut studio album “It Takes a Thief” charted as high as three on the Billboard Hot 100.
But it was “Gangsta’s Paradise” the following year that would make Coolio a household name.
The rapper soared to global fame in 1995 when he released the song for the soundtrack of the film “Dangerous Minds” that starred Michelle Pfeiffer.