Coolio, Grammy-Winning Rapper Of Gangsta's Paradise Fame And Aaron Kwok's Co-Star In China Strike Force, Dies At 59
The rapper's breakout song, 'Gangsta's Paradise' was featured on the soundtrack of the 1995 movie Dangerous Minds.
Coolio has died at the age of 59.
The 'Gangsta's Paradise' hitmaker's longtime manager, Jarez Posey, confirmed the rapper was found dead at a friend's house in Los Angeles on Wednesday (Sept 28).
Paramedics were called to the scene at around 4pm and he was pronounced dead a little while after they arrived.
No drugs or drug paraphernalia were found by police, according to TMZ's sources.
An autopsy will need to be carried out to establish the cause of death, however, his manager said the paramedics who attended the scene suspected he suffered cardiac arrest in his friend's bathroom.
An investigation into his death has been opened, however, there are no signs of foul play.
The hip-hop legend — whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr — was born in Pennsylvania on August 1, 1963.
After attending community college, he became a firefighter and then worked in airport security.
He then made his move into music towards the end of the 80s, releasing his debut single 'Whatcha Gonna Do?' in 1987.
Coolio got his first break in the rap group WC and the Maad Circle alongside WC and his brother, Crazy Toones, the latter of whom died of a heart attack in 2017, aged 45.
His global breakthrough came in the mid-90s with 'Gangsta's Paradise', which was featured on the soundtrack of the 1995 movie Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer. The song, which samples Stevie Wonder's 'Pastime Paradise', topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and won Coolio Best Solo Rap Performance at the Grammy Awards.
He also had a Top 5 hit with 'Fantastic Voyage', from his 1994 debut album It Takes a Thief.
Cool would go on to release seven more solo albums, his final being 2009's From the Bottom 2 the Top. He also wrote the intro to Nickelodeon's iconic TV show 'Kenan and Kel', 'Aw, Here It Goes!', in the '90s.
Besides music, Coolio was also known for his culinary skills. He released a cookbook, Cookin' with Coolio, in 2009 and competed on the Food Network series Rachael vs Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off in 2012.
Coolio also appeared in many films and TV shows. He came third in the sixth series of Celebrity Big Brother in 2009. His credits include Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Batman & Robin, The Nanny, Charmed and Futurama.
In 2000, he starred alongside Aaron Kwok, Wang Leehom and Mark Dacascos in the Hong Kong action action thriller China Strike Force.
Tributes have flooded in for the late rapper, led by Michelle Pfeiffer. She wrote: "Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio. A life cut entirely too short."
Vanilla Ice wrote: "I'm freaking out I just heard my good friend Coolio passed away."
Parody guru Weird Al Yankovic, who satirised 'Gangsta's Paradise' as 'Amish Paradise', penned, "RIP Coolio".
— BANG SHOWBIZ
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos