Entertainment

Coolio, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper, dies at 59

Diana Dasrath and Phil Helsel
WATCH LIVE
Singer Coolio takes part in a panel discussion for his new Oxygen Network reality series "Coolio's Rules" at the NBC Universal summer 2008 press tour in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. July 20, 2008.
Fred Prouser | Reuters

Rapper Coolio, known for hits including "Fantastic Voyage" and "Gangsta's Paradise," has died at age 59, his manager confirmed Wednesday evening.

The news was first reported by TMZ.

Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., had a music career that spanned more than three decades.

"As far as what I know now is that he was at a friend's house and was in his bathroom and had a heart attack," said his manager, Jarez Posey.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to the home around 4 p.m. for a death investigation, the department said. It would not confirm the identity of the person who was deceased.

The Los Angeles Medical Examiner's Office will officially release the identity, officials said. No foul play is suspected, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said.

Read more form NBC News:

Coolio won a Grammy for "Gangsta's Paradise," which was released in 1995 and spent three weeks at the top of Billboard's Hot 100 list.

He shot to fame with the hit and won a Grammy for best solo rap performance the next year.

The song was included on the soundtrack for the 1995 Michelle Pfeiffer film "Dangerous Minds."

Coolio was also known for hits including "Fantastic Voyage," "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" and "C U When U Get There," among others.

Overall, he has sold more than 17 million records, according to his website. He was nominated for five other Grammys, including for "Fantastic Voyage" and "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)."

He was also in a number of television shows and films, including "Futurama," in which he voiced Kwanzaa-bot. He also appeared in "Robbery Homicide Division" and "Malcolm & Eddie," among other shows. He was a contestant in "Fear Factor" in 2001.

In 2009, the entertainer wrote "Cookin' with Coolio," which was also the title of a cooking show he starred in.

Coolio was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Compton, California.

Rapper Ice Cube was among those mourning Coolio's death Wednesday. "This is sad news. I witness first hand this man's grind to the top of the industry," Ice Cube tweeted. "Rest In Peace."