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Rapper Coolio dead at 59

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LOS ANGELES – Rapper Coolio, known for hits such as ‘Fantastic Voyage’ and ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, has died at the age of 59, his manager confirmed Wednesday evening.

The news was: first reported by TMZ.

Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr. had a music career spanning more than three decades.

“As far as I know now, he was at a friend’s house and in his bathroom and had a heart attack,” said his manager, Jarez Posey.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics arrived at the home around 4 p.m. for an investigation into the death, the department said. It would not confirm the identity of the deceased person.

The Los Angeles medical examiner’s office will officially release the identity, officials said. No malicious intent is suspected, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said.

Coolio won a Grammy for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was released in 1995 and topped Billboard’s Hot 100 list for three weeks.

He became famous with the hit and won a Grammy for the best solo rap performance of the following year.

The song was featured on the soundtrack of Michelle Pfeiffer’s 1995 film “Dangerous Minds”.

Coolio was also known for hits such as “Fantastic Voyage,” “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)” and “CU When U Get There.”

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

He was also in a number of TV shows and movies, 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 in which he starred.

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

Rapper Ice Cube was among those who mourned Coolio’s death on Wednesday. “This is sad news. I’m witnessing firsthand how this man is dragging to the top of the industry,” Ice Cube tweeted. “Rest in peace.”

This is a story in development. Come back for updates.

The Associated Press and Andrew Blankstein contributed.


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