Rapper Coolio, 59, has passed away. He was best known for his smash hits “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage.”
Coolio’s manager Jarez confirmed the news to TMZ, adding that he passed away on Wednesday afternoon while he was visiting a buddy (September 28). The Grammy-winning artist reportedly left to use the restroom but did not return.
The friend went in search of the 59-year-old and found him lying on the restroom floor. He was confirmed dead by paramedics when they got on the site a short time later. Jarez claimed that although there has been no formal announcement of the cause of death, paramedics think he had a heart attack.
Coolio, who was actually named Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was a Los Angeles native who broke onto the rap scene in the 1980s. His career took off in 1995 when “Gangsta’s Paradise” appeared in the Michelle Pfeiffer-starring movie Dangerous Minds. On the Billboard 200, the single debuted at No. 1, where it stayed for three weeks.
Coolio continued to tour throughout his career, most recently joining Vanilla Ice, Young MC, Kid-N-Play, All 4 One, and Tone Lc on the I Love The ’90s Tour. In a 2010 interview with Minnesota Daily, Coolio discussed what kept him inspired to perform after all these years.
“I love to rap,” he said. “Three of my sons rap, my daughter sings, my nephew raps; my family is real musical. We very creative. We got the creative gene hard. That’s what keeps me going, my family, man. They respect what I do; they like what I do and they’re honest.”
He also discussed how his live show had improved, explaining: “I’m more controlled now, versus back in the day. The best way to describe it is like this energy-gathering dynamo. I suck in the energy from the crowd and right at the point they’re drained, ready to slump over and fall over and pass out, I bring it to a crescendo and shoot it all back at them. And then I’m slumped over and ready to pass out and they’re energized and ready for the next artist or end of the party or whatever.”