Coolio, the Grammy-winning rapper, producer and actor best known for his 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died. He was 59 years old.

The rapper’s longtime manager Jarell Posey confirmed the news Diversity, Coolio died Wednesday afternoon around PT. According to TMZ, Coolio was found at a friend’s house.

“We are saddened by the passing of our dear friend and client, Coolio, this afternoon. He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be greatly missed,” said his manager Sheila Finnegan of Trinity Artists International in a statement. Diversity. “Thank you to everyone around the world who has listened to his music and contacted us about his passing. Please keep Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

Coolio rose to fame in the Los Angeles rap scene in the 90s, getting his big break when he recorded the song “Gangsta’s Paradise” for the 1995 film “Dangerous Minds” starring Michelle Pfeiffer. It became one of the most popular rap songs of all time by the end of 1995, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and becoming the number one single of that year in the United States. In 1996, “Gangsta’s Paradise” was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rap Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards, with Coolio winning the latter.

The song was soon spoofed by “Weird Al” Yankovic, who parodied it as “Amish Paradise”, though Coolio was adamant that he did not allow Weird Al to do so. However, Coolio later stated in interviews that the two mended.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. on August 1, 1963 in Pennsylvania, Coolio later moved to Compton, California where he joined the hip-hop groups WC and Mad Circle in 1991. A few years later, in 1994, Coolio signed a contract. Tommy Boy Records and released his debut album “It Takes a Thief”. Catapulted by the lead single “Fantastic Voyage”, “It Takes a Thief” peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart and was certified platinum.

Following the success of “Gangsta’s Paradise” in the mid-’90s, Coolio continued to rise to fame, eventually releasing “Hey, Here It Goes!” Recorded. For the opening sequence of Nickelodeon’s “Kenan & Kel,” in which he also appeared. His third album, “My Soul,” was released in 1997 and featured “CU When You Get There,” which peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified gold but did not have the same impact as his first two records, and it became his last record with Tommy Boy.

Coolio would go on to release five more studio albums: 2001’s “Coolio.com,” 2002’s “El Cool Magnifico,” 2006’s “The Return of the Gangsta,” 2008’s “Steal Hear,” and 2009’s “From the Bootom 2 the Top .” As his commercial success in music waned, Coolio became a TV personality, placing third in a 2004 German talent show about artists looking to make a comeback, and appearing on “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2009. Coolio’s food was also a big love. He released a cookbook titled “Cookin with Coolio” in 2009 and in 2012 starred in the Food Network series “Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” and came second.

A talented actor as well, Coolio appeared in dozens of films and TV shows throughout his career. Beginning with his own guest appearance on “Martin” (1995), Coolio’s credits include the “Dangerous Minds” TV spinoff (1996), “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” (1996), “Batman & Robin” (1997), “The Nanny” (1998 ), “Tyrone” (1999), “Midnight Mass” (1999), “Charmed” (2002), “Star-Wing” (2009), “Futurama” (2001, 2010) and “Gravity Falls” (2012).

According to his IMDb page, Coolio had three movies in the works: Rob Margolies’ “Bobcat Moretti,” the monster movie “It Wants Blood 2,” and the TV movie “Vegas High.” Coolio also continued to perform, recently playing a set at Chicago’s Riot Fest on September 18.



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