Rapper Coolio, the Grammy Award-winning rapper best known for hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” has died. He was 59. Coolio’s death was confirmed to Rolling Stone by his longtime manager Jarez Posey on Wednesday (Sept. 28). The cause of death at this time is still unknown.
Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed with CNN that firefighters and paramedics were called to an L.A. residence where they found an unresponsive male. Paramedics performed “resuscitation efforts for approximately 45 minutes.” The patient “was determined dead just before 5:00 p.m.,” Scott said.
Law enforcement sources told gossip site TMZ that no drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at the scene of Coolio’s death. An autopsy and toxicology test will be used to determine an official cause of death.
“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” a statement provided to CNN from Coolio’s talent manager Sheila Finegan said. “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.”
Coolio, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., released eight studio albums during his career. “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was released in 1995, was the rapper’s claim to fame. The record was also featured on the soundtrack to the 1995 film Dangerous Minds. “Gangsta’s Paradise” went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1996. The track was also nominated for Record of the Year.
Coolio was also one of the driving forces in the late 90s that connected hip-hop and television. He gave children one of the most iconic theme songs to Nickelodeon’s Kenan & Kel featuring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell.
Many fans, celebs, and fellow artists paid tribute to the late rapper when news broke of his death Wednesday (Sept. 28). Take a look at the responses below: