UNITED STATES: Rapper Coolio, well known for the number-one hit Gangsta’s Paradise from 1995, has passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 59, his management team announced on Wednesday.
Los Angeles witnessed the passing of the Grammy-winning musician, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr. There was no indication of a cause of death right away.
Juarez Posey, Coolio’s longtime friend and manager, told AFP that the report was true but withheld any further information.
Posey revealed to the celebrity news website TMZ that Coolio was discovered unconscious in a friend’s restroom on Wednesday afternoon.
“He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers,” said Coolio’s talent Manager Sheila Finegan.
Coolio started his rap career in California in the late 1980s, but in 1995, when he released Gangsta’s Paradise for the soundtrack of the movie Dangerous Minds, he became famous all over the world.
Speaking to the Los Angles Times in the year 1994, he recalled falling into the drug scene but getting himself out by pursuing a career as a firefighter.
“I wasn’t looking for a career, I was looking for a way to clean up – a way to escape the drug thing,” he told the publication. “It was going to kill me and I knew I had to stop. In firefighting training was discipline I needed. We ran every day. I wasn’t drinking or smoking or doing the stuff I usually did,” said Coolio
His rap career began in the ’80s, and he gained fame in the underground scene.“Fantastic Voyage” was the first song that put him out. The year after, he received the Grammy Award for best rap solo performance for the song.
The song, which used a hook from Stevie Wonder’s 1976 track Pastime Paradise, sold millions of copies worldwide, peaked at the top of the charts in 16 different nations, and was ranked as 1995’s No. 1 hit on Billboard.
In recent years, Coolio made an appearance on the reality series Big Brother and created a food programme that gained popularity online. To support his job as a chef, he planned to auction off the rights to his music, including Gangsta’s Paradise. Additionally, he published a cookbook and made appearances on celebrity culinary shows.
One of the nicest dudes I’ve known
“One of the nicest dudes I’ve known,” said MC Hammer about Coolio.“Good people. RIP Coolio,” he wrote. In addition, he published a black and white image of the rapper. Later, he shared a second image of them with Snoop Dogg and Tupac.
Snoop Dogg posted a photo of the two of them posing on the set of the 2006 music video for their song Gangsta Walk on Instagram with the caption: “Gangstas paradise. R I P.”
Al Yankovic, a musical comedian, paid tribute by posting a photo of the two cuddling and writing, “RIP Coolio.” Despite claims that Coolio had forbidden it at the time, he mimicked Gangsta’s Paradise as Amish Paradise. In interviews, Coolio said that the two had subsequently made up.
“My sincere sympathies and prayers go out to the family of @Coolio #rip, “commented US comedian Martin Lawrence.
Wajahat Ali, the author, said: “Coolio is no more. I’m shocked by what I just typed. Only 59. Gen Xers understand and respect this. Insha’Allah, gangster paradise.”
Throughout his career, which started in the late 1980s, Coolio received five additional Grammy nominations.
He was raised in Compton, California, after being born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, and attended a community college there. Before committing himself entirely to hip-hop and releasing his debut single in 1987, he worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security.
He also wrote the theme song Aw, Here It Goes! for the Kenan & Kel television programme.
Former NBA player Matt Bonner recalled his time spent with Coolio, saying in a Twitter post the rapper was a “huge hoops fan… we hosted him at a game a few years back… biggest crowd of all-time at a Spurs Overtime concert.”
Based on the report, Coolio was declared dead by paramedics who had been called to a house in Los Angeles at around 4 o’clock for a medical issue.
Although there were no obvious indications of foul play, the report added that police had begun a death inquiry.