Coolio, the Grammy Award-winning rapper behind the monster hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died, according to multiple reports. He was 59.

How did Coolio die?

Jarez Posey, the rapper’s longtime manager, confirmed to Variety that Coolio died Wednesday afternoon. A cause of death has not yet been released.

“As far as what I know now is that he was at a friend’s house and was in his bathroom and had a heart attack,” Posey said, per NBC News.

TMZ first reported the news.

The Roots drummer/frontman Questlove was one of the first celebrities to react to the news on social media, per People. “Peaceful Journey Brother,” he wrote.

Rapper Ice Cube also paid tribute to Coolio: “This is sad news,” he wrote. “I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace.”

What was Coolio best known for?

Coolio’s music career spanned more than three decades. The Los Angeles-based rapper rose to stardom in the mid-1990s with the song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was featured on the soundtrack for the 1995 film “Dangerous Minds,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer, according to Variety.

Pfeiffer said she was “heartbroken” over Coolio’s death.

“A life cut entirely too short,” the actress shared in a post on Instagram. “He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack — which I think was the reason our film saw so much success. I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song.”

“Gangsta’s Paradise” was the No. 1 single of 1995 in the U.S., per Billboard, and is one of the most popular rap songs of all time.

The song reached 1 billion views on YouTube earlier this year, CNN reported.

Related
These are the most viewed YouTube music videos of all time
View Comments

“It’s one of those kinds of songs that transcends generations,” Coolio said in a recent interview, per CNN. “I didn’t use any trendy words … I think it made it timeless.”

The song was also the inspiration for “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Amish Paradise.” Yankovic paid tribute to Coolio Wednesday night, sharing a photo of the two embracing.

Coolio was also well known for writing “Aw, Here it Goes,” the theme song for the popular 1990s Nickelodeon show “Keenan and Kel.”

“He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly,” Coolio’s talent manager, Sheila Finegan, said in a statement, per CNN. 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.”

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.