Coolio, 'Gangsta's Paradise' Rapper, Dies Suddenly at 59
Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died suddenly on Wednesday at 59, TMZ reports.
The “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper was said to be at a friend’s home in L.A. when he passed away.
His manager Jarez Posey told TMZ that Coolio went into the bathroom and his friend became concerned when he didn’t come out. The friend tried calling for him, but when he didn’t respond the friend entered the room and found him on the floor.
Emergency services were called, but Coolio was pronounced dead at the scene.
TMZ reports his death is under investigation and the coroner will perform an autopsy and toxicology tests.
Law enforcement sources also noted there were no drugs or paraphernalia found and no signs of foul play.
The star had performed at Riot Fest in Chicago earlier this month.
Coolio was a Grammy winner who hit it big in 1995 with the global #1 smash “Gangsta’s Paradise” from his album of the same name and featured on the “Dangerous Minds” soundtrack. Using Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise" (1976), it became the top-selling single of 1995, and frequently appears on lists of the best singles ever released.
The ubiquitous anthem was parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic in 1996 as "Amish Paradise," also a hit. Coolio initially turned his nose up at the spoof, but later came to appreciate it and to regret having rebuffed Yankovic when the idea was first proposed.
Yankovic posted a photo of the men embracing on Twitter with the simple caption, "RIP Coolio."
His other hits from his eight studio albums included “Fantastic Voyage” (1994), "Too Hot" (1995), “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New)” (1996), “It’s All the Way Live (Now)" feat. Lakeside (1996), and "C U When U Get There" (1997).
Coolio also appeard in “Batman & Robin” (1997), among other acting roles.
The star was married to Josefa Salinas from 1996-2000. They had four children together —Artisha, Brandi, Jackie and Artis — all of whom survive him.
MC Hammer memorialized Coolio on Twitter as "one of the nicest dudes I’ve known. Good people. R.I.P. Coolio."