Famed Rapper Coolio Dead At 59
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 01: Rapper Flavor Flav (L) and rapper/actor Coolio attend producer Wade Martin's premiere of music videos by Flavor Flav and Coolio, the first ever to use full-HD virtual reality technology, at STK at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on September 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Famed rapper Coolio died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 59 years old.

TMZ reported that the rapper, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died while visiting a friend.

He reportedly went to use the bathroom at his friend’s house and did not come back for a while, prompting the friend to go looking for him. The friend found him lying on the floor, at which point he called for help.

The rapper was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” Coolio’s manager, Sheila Finegan, said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times. “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,” she added. “Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

The report said that while an official cause of death had yet to be given, cardiac arrest was suspected.

Coolio went from growing up in tough conditions in Compton, California, to becoming a Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum recording artist, selling more than 17 million records worldwide.

Perhaps his most famous song was the song that helped launch him toward the top of the rap music scene, “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

Coolio’s website noted that the song won a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Rap Performance, Solo, and that it was featured on the “Dangerous Minds” soundtrack and movie.

The song “was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Song of the Year and it sold over six million copies and was Billboard Magazine’s number one single in 1995,” his site said. “The world recognition led to his music being featured Coolio for several major motion pictures including: Space Jam, Clueless, The Big Payback, Panther, New Jersey Drive, The Jerk Boys, Eddie, Half Baked and many more. He also composed the theme song for the popular kids TV series KENAN on Nickelodeon.”

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