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29th Sep 2022

Coolio, Grammy award-winning Gangsta’s Paradise rapper, dead at 59

Steve Hopkins

He was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s LA home

US rapper Coolio has died age 59.

The performer, who won a Grammy for his hit track, Gangsta’s Paradise, was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s house in Los Angeles, his longtime manager, Jarez Posey told US media.

The exact cause of his death on Wednesday has not yet been revealed, but Posey told TMZ, which first reported the news, that paramedics believed Coolio may have had a cardiac arrest.

Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr, started making music in the 1980s, but cemented his place in hip hop history when he recorded Gangsta’s Paradise in 1995.

Gangsta’s Paraside, which was part of the soundtrack for the movie Dangerous Minds starring Michelle Pfeiffer, continues to be widely listened to and just passed a billion streams on Spotify.

Over a career spanning four decades Coolio 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.

The rapper was active right up until his passing and was in the middle of a tour with other 90s stars including Vanilla Ice and Young MC. They performed in Texas just a few days ago.

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

Snoop Dogg referenced Coolio’s world-famous track in his own tribute, writing, “Gangstas paradise. R I P” and shared a picture of the two posing on the set of the music video for Gangsta Walk, a track they collaborated on in 2006.

Ice Cube wrote: “This is sad news. I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry.”

MC Hammer described Coolio as “one of the nicest dudes I’ve known”.

“Good people. RIP Coolio,” he wrote, sharing a black and white picture of the rapper, and later posting a second picture of the pair together, along with Tupac and Snoop Dogg.

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