(KTLA) – Los Angeles rapper Coolio has died, according to reports. He was 59 years old.
The rapper had many hits in the mid-’90s, including “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage.” According to reports, he died late on Wednesday night TMZ. Coolio’s manager, Jarez Posey, also confirmed the death of the artist for Rolling Stone and the Associated Press.
Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was born on August 1, 1963, and grew up in Compton. His first career success came at a time when Southern California rappers were dominating the Billboard charts.
His first two albums, “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “It Takes a Thief” climbed the charts and were both commercial and critical successes.
He won a Grammy for his single “Gangsta’s Paradise”, which was used as the theme to the 1995 film Dangerous Minds.
Social media was abuzz with reactions to the unexpected death, especially from fellow musicians.
“This is sad news,” Ice Cube said on Twitter. “I witnessed firsthand this man’s journey to the top of the industry. Rest in peace @Coolio.”
“Awesome Al,” Jankovic tweeted “RIP Coolio” along with an image of the two men embracing.
Coolio’s major success launched a notable acting career, including more than 100 roles, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Younger audiences may know him better for the theme and introduction to Nickelodeon’s hit comedy series Kenan and Kel.
He also starred in a parenting reality show called The Coolie Rules and voiced an episode of the animated series Gravity Falls.
Ultimately, his career will be remembered for the iconic rap tunes that perfectly encapsulated 1990s West Coast hip-hop.
His cause of death is unknown at this time, but TMZ reports that medics at the scene ruled cardiac arrest the likely cause. It is featured on his Instagram page performs live just a few days ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.