Gangsta’s Paradise rapper Coolio found dead at 59

Photo credit: Tracey Nearmy - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tracey Nearmy - Getty Images

Coolio (real name: Artis Leon Ivey Jr) – best known for his 1995 hit Gangsta's Paradise – has passed away at the age of 59.

According to his longtime manager Jarez Posey, the musician was found unresponsive on Wednesday (28 September) on the bathroom floor of a friend's house in Los Angeles. Paramedics were called at 4pm but they pronounced Coolio dead at the scene.

Coolio's cause of death has not yet been revealed, but Posey told TMZ that paramedics believed he may have had a cardiac arrest. According to the news outlet, police have opened a death investigation but as of right now there does not appear to be signs of foul play and no drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at the scene.

Posey told TMZ that Coolio – who also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother UK in 2010 – was visiting a friend at the time of his death. He went to the bathroom but when he didn't come out for a while his friend became concerned. Eventually the friend entered the bathroom and found Coolio lying on the floor.

Photo credit: Fred Duval - Getty Images
Photo credit: Fred Duval - Getty Images

After news of the rapper's death broke, fans flooded social media with messages of shock and condolence. "Another staple of my childhood dead. RIP Coolio," one person wrote on Twitter, as someone else said: "We lost a legend! Coolio is gonna be missed. Dead at 59!"

"RIP to the OG!" a third fan tweeted, as someone else referenced the artist's most well-known track: "He’s in Gangsta’s Paradise now."

Celebrities also commented on the sad news, with fellow musician Vanilla Ice writing, "I'm freaking out I just heard my good friend Coolio passed away." Similarly, Snoop Dogg shared a photo of himself and Coolio along with his own tribute, saying: "Gangstas paradise. R I P."

Coolio started making music in the 1980s, but he shot to fame and secured his place in hip hop history when he recorded Gangsta's Paradise in the mid nineties. The track continues to be widely listened to and has just passed a billion streams on Spotify, according to Coolio's official website.

Our thoughts are with Coolio's family, friends and fans at this difficult time.

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