Artis Leon Ivey Jr., better known as Coolio, the ’90s rho is known for hits like “Fantastic Voyage,” and “Gangsta’s Paradise” has died, his friend and manager Jarez Posey informed news outlets. The Grammy-winning musician passed away at a friend’s house in Los Angelge at 59.
Coolio was found unresponsive in the bathroom n Wednesday afterTheoon. A cause of death was not immediately confirmed.
According to his website, Coolio sold more than 17 million records over his career.
Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department verified that firefighters and paramedics responded to a call on the 2900 block of South Chesapeake Ave. at 4 p.m. local time for reports of a medical emergency. When they arrived, they found an unresponsive male and performed “resuscitation efforts for approximately 45 minutes. The patient was determined dead just before 5:00 p.m.,” Scott said.
Soon enough, people who knew him talked about their memories with Coolio on various platforms:
Actor Lou Diamond Phillips tweeted, “I am stunned. Coolio was a friend and one of the warmest, funniest people I’ve ever met. We spent an amazing time together making Red Water in Capetown and loved going head to head in the kitchen. He was one of a kind. Epic, Legendary, and I’ll miss him.”
Former NBA player Matt Bonner tweeted, “huge hoops fan… we hosted him at a game a few years back… biggest crowd of all-time at a Spurs Overtime concert.”
Coolio’s talent manager Sheila Finegan said, “We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon.”
Born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, Coolio moved to Compton, California, where he went to community college. He worked as a volunteer firefighter and airport security before committing to full-time hip-hop music.
He began his career in the late 1980s, during which he was nominated for five other Grammys. His career took off with the 1994 release of his debut album, “It Takes a Thief,” on Tommy Boy Records. Its opening track, “Fantastic Voyage,” would reach No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
According to Variety, Coolio became an actor and an award-winning musician and appeared in various films and popular television shows.