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Coolio, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ Rapper, Dead at 59

Grammy Award-winning rapper Coolio died Wednesday at a friend's house in Los Angeles. He was 59.

TMZ first broke the news and his longtime manager, Jarez Posey, then confirmed it to multiple outlets.

Posey said the star went to the bathroom and when he did not return for a “long time,” friends broke down the door and found him on the floor.

According to Posey paramedics were called after he was found unresponsive but their attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., Coolio was one of the most recognizable names in rap in the late 1990s.

The Pennsylvania native found success in the music industry after moving to Compton, California, where he went to community college and worked as a volunteer firefighter before devoting himself to music full-time.

In 1994 his debut album "It Takes a Thief" made him a star. The platinum album's lead single "Fantastic Voyage" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, while it peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200.

Coolio kept the momentum going with his next release 1995's “Gangsta’s Paradise." The hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film "Dangerous Minds" earned him a Grammy for best solo rap performance.

He went on to make the song the title track of his second studio album released the same year. "Gangsta's Paradise" went on to sell over two million copies in the United States and generated two more major hits for the artist in "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" (No. 5 Billboard Hot 100) and "Too Hot" (No. 24).

After the news broke, friends, fans and former colleagues took to the internet to eulogize the fallen star. Among them was Weird Al, who the rapper feuded with after the parody song master released the song "Amish Paradise." The two squashed the beef later.

"RIP Coolio," he wrote in a simple and touching tribute.

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