Coolio has passed away at the age of just 59. The rapper, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died on Wednesday, September 28, at a friend’s house in Los Angeles, California.
“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” a rep for Coolio told Us WeeklyWednesday. “He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. We are grateful to everyone who listened to his music around the world and to everyone who reached out to us regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”
The Pennsylvania native, who was best known for the hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” from the 1995 film Dangerous MindsHis manager confirmed his death. Jarez PoseyWednesday, “As far as what I know now is that he was at a friend’s house and was in his bathroom,” Posey confirmed to Rolling StoneCoolio died from a suspected heart attack, according to the statement. The official cause of Coolio’s death has not been confirmed.
Per TMZCoolio, who was the first to report the news was Coolio, was visiting a friend when the incident occurred. After his friend grew concerned when the “C U When U Get There” artist was absent for an extended period of time and didn’t respond to his name being called, they found him laying on the floor.
The ambulance was summoned and EMTs declared the rapper deceased on the spot.
Coolio was a married man to Josefa Salinas from 1996 to 2000. They shared four kids, daughters Artisha, Brandi, Jackie and son Artis, who costarred with him on the 2008 reality series Coolio’s Rules.
Beyond his musical success — which included eight solo studio albums between 1994 and 2009 — Coolio landed roles in major blockbuster films throughout his career. He appeared in 1997’s Batman & RobinContrary George ClooneyAs the Dark Knight Get Over ItWith Kirsten Dunst2001, and was featured in Ben Affleck’s Daredevil2003. He was also featured in several episodes of television over the years. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Nanny, Charmed, Teachers.
He is also the creator and artist of the theme song for Nickelodeon’s Kenan and KelStarred by. Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson Kel Mitchell.
Celebrities took to social networking to remember the music legend after his tragic passing.
Michelle PheifferStarring in:, Dangerous Minds — and coinciding music video for Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” — penned a touching tribute to the late rapper via Instagram.
“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio,” the One Fine DayStar wrote the following alongside a clip from their music videos. “A life cut entirely too short. As many of my readers may know, I was fortunate to have worked with him on Dangerous Minds back in 1995. He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack – which I think was the reason our film saw so much success. He was always so kind and gracious. I still get chills listening to the song 30 years later. His family is in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr. ❤️.”
“This is sad news,” Ice CubeThe tweet was sent via Twitter at that time. “I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio.”
A fellow rapper MC Hammer also paid his condolences, saying, “One of the nicest dudes I’ve known. Good people. R.I.P. Coolio.” Actor Martin Lawerence, for his part, gave his “deepest condolences” to Coolio’s family.
Scroll down for more Coolio tributes by celebrities