Grammy-winning rapper Coolio passed away on Wednesday after being discovered unconscious at a friend’s Los Angeles residence, according to the New York Times. He was 59.
“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon. He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly,” Sheila Finegan, his manager at Trinity Artists International, said in a statement to Variety. “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 single Gangsta’s Paradise, from the 1995 album of the same name, is what made Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., famous.
The next year, that song, a huge smash that was used in the movie Dangerous Minds, received a Grammy Award for best rap solo performance.
According to his manager Juarez Posey, the rapper passed away at a nearby hospital at around 5 p.m. Pacific (8 p.m. EDT). Ivey had previously been discovered unconscious in a friend’s bathroom, Posey told the newspaper.
The cause of death wasn’t immediately known.
Ivey, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1963, started performing in Compton, California, as a part of the West Coast hip-hop scene.
In 1994, he launched his debut album, It Takes a Thief, and the song Lakeside became a Top Ten smash.