“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” Sheila Finegan said. “He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”
The rapper’s longtime manager, Jarez Posey, also confirmed his passing to multiple outlets. Jarez told TMZ that the artist was visiting a friend’s home in Los Angeles and went to use the bathroom but failed to emerge. The worried pal called out for him then later found the hip hop star lying on the floor. EMTs were called to the scene, but Coolio was pronounced dead, the site reported. An official cause of death has not yet been determined.
The hip-hop star was born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., in Monessen, Pennsylvania, but moved to Compton, California, where he was raised. After working odd jobs, he began his music career in the late 1980s and achieved massive success with the 1995 smash “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was featured in the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart where it remained for three weeks and would be the biggest hit of Coolio’s career.
Coolio’s rep did not immediately respond to In Touch‘s request for comment.
The rapper performed the opening theme for the 1990s Nickelodeon hit Kenan and Kel and had a number of acting credits to his name. Coolio played himself in the 2009 web series Star-ving, and had guest appearances on such TV shows as The Nanny, Teachers, Make My Day and Gravity Falls. He was in preproduction for the movie Vegas High at the time of his death.
Coolio was a familiar face to fans of reality TV. He had his own show, Coolio’s Rules, that ran for one season on Oxygen in 2008. It followed the hip-hop star’s family life as a dad, active work on his music career, his attempt to launch a catering business and his quest for finding love.
The “C U When You Get There” rapper also appeared as himself on Fox’s Celebrity Boot Camp in 2002, VH-1’s Celebrity Paranormal Project in 2006, the Food Network’s Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, starring Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, and the 2020 OWN dating series, Love Goals.
Coolio was the father of 10 children from various relationships. He was married only once, to Josefa Salinas, from 1996 through 2000. The former couple shared twin daughters, Shayne and Kate.
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