Rapper Coolio, who had hits like Gangstas Paradise and Fantastic Voyage, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 59 in Los Angeles.
Sheila Finegan, Coolios agent, told Eyewitness News the rapper had passed away. His manager, Jarez Posey, said that he passed away in the afternoon at a friends house in Los Angeles.
It was unclear what brought about the fatality at first.
The world was enriched by his talent and he will be sorely missed, Finegan said in a statement. Id want to express my gratitude to the millions of people around the world who have appreciated his music and reached out to me in the wake of his death.
There are no obvious indicators of foul play, according to a police source who spoke to Eyewitness News about the death investigation.
For his solo rap performance on Gangstas Paradise, which sampled Stevie Wonders Pastime Paradise from 1976 and was featured on the soundtrack to the Michelle Pfeiffer picture Dangerous Minds, Coolio was awarded a Grammy in 1995.
Throughout his career, which began in the late 1980s, he was nominated for five further Grammys.
Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania (just south of Pittsburgh), but he attended community college in Compton, California. Before devoting himself fully to the hip-hop culture, he worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security.
In 1994, his debut album, It Takes a Thief, was released on Tommy Boy Records, and it catapulted his career. The albums lead single, Fantastic Voyage, peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In retrospect, its easy to see why Gangstas Paradise was such a smashing success a full year after its release.
In addition to 1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin New), Coolio also had hits with C U When U Get There and C U When U Get There.
From 1996 to 2000, he was married to Josefa Salinas. Together, they started a family of four kids.
In the wake of the tragic loss, people took to social media in droves to express their sorrow.
Pfeiffer expressed her heartbreak over the news of the rappers passing and recalled him as being nothing but nice.
Snoop Dogg shared an Instagram photo of the two of them with the message, Gangstas paradise. R. I. P.
As you might imagine, this is rather disappointing. I have seen this mans relentless pursuit of success in the business world firsthand rapper Ice Cube made a tweet. Tweet: May @Coolio Rest In Peace.