US rapper Coolio dies aged 59

Coolio

Coolio performs at halftime of a game between the Connecticut Sun and the Las Vegas Aces at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 31, 2022.

Photo credit: AFP

Coolio, the US rapper best known for the chart-topping 1995 song "Gangsta's Paradise," has died in Los Angeles aged 59, his manager said Wednesday.

The Grammy-winning musician, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr, passed away in Los Angeles. No cause of death was immediately provided.

Coolio's friend and long-standing manager Jarez Posey confirmed the news to AFP without providing additional details.

Posey told celebrity news website TMZ that Coolio was found unresponsive in the bathroom of a friend's house on Wednesday afternoon.

Coolio began his rap career in California in the late 80s, but gained global famed in 1995 when he released "Gangsta's Paradise" for the soundtrack of the film "Dangerous Minds."

He was awarded best rap solo performance for the track at the following year's Grammy Awards ceremony.

With a hook lifted from  Stevie Wonder's 1976 track "Pastime Paradise," the song sold millions of copies worldwide, topping pop charts in 16 countries and becoming Billboard's Number One song for 1995.

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