‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio dead at 59

Coolio, a rapper and actor whose hits included “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died, Rolling Stone reported. He was 59.

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Coolio’s manager, Jarez Posey, confirmed the rapper’s death to Rolling Stone. A cause of death was not available.

TMZ was the first outlet to report Coolio’s death.

The Grammy Award-winning rapper was born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. on Aug. 1, 1963, in Monessen, Pennsylvania, and later moved to Compton, California, Rolling Stone reported.

In California, Coolio cut his first single in the late 1980s. He later joined WC and the Maad Circle and contributed to their debut album, “Ain’t a Damn Thang Changed.”

His career rose with the 1994 release of his debut album, “It Takes a Thief,” according to The Associated Press. The album’s first opening track, “Fantastic Voyage,” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Coolio’s big break came when the following year, when he recorded “Gangsta’s Paradise” for the 1995 film, “Dangerous Minds,” which starred Michelle Pfeiffer, Variety reported. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts for three weeks and was named the No. 1 single of 1995. the entertainment news outlet reported.

In 1996, “Gangsta’s Paradise” was nominated for record of the year and best rap solo performance at the Grammy Awards, with Coolio winning the latter honor.


“This is sad news,” Ice Cube tweeted. “I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace, @Coolio.”

“Peaceful journey brother,” Questlove tweeted.

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