As per TMZ, Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died in Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 28th. He was reportedly visiting a friend in the city when he passed away.
According to Coolio’s longtime manager, Jarez, the rapper went to his friend’s bathroom but didn’t return for a considerable while. After the friend repeatedly called out to him, they eventually went into the bathroom and found Coolio on the floor.
TMZ were told that EMTs were called, but Coolio was pronounced dead on the scene. According to Jarez, he suffered a cardiac arrest, but an official cause of death hasn’t been determined yet.
After making his way through the Los Angeles rap scene in the late 1980s, Coolio rose to worldwide prominence thanks to his mammoth 1995 anthem ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, which featured on the soundtrack for that year’s film Dangerous Minds.
The song has remained iconic over the decades, selling over five million copes in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. It ranked number 85 on Billboard‘s Greatest Songs of All Time list, while NME also named it as the 100th best song in their countdown of the 100 Best Songs of the 1990s. ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ also earned Coolio the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
The rapper had some other success following his signature hit, including the Top 20 hits ‘1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)’ and ‘C U When U Get There’, while he also famously provided the opening theme song for the iconic Nickelodeon show Kenan & Kel.
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Following the height of his music fame in the 1990s, Coolio was more known for his television appearances in the 2000s. In 2009, he participated as a housemate on Celebrity Big Brother, later appearing on Ultimate Big Brother the following year.
He also guest starred in shows as wide-ranging as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Nanny, Wife Swap, Black Jesus, and Joey.