US rapper Coolio has died at the age of 59. NBC Los Angeles reported Wednesday (local time), citing the musician’s manager Jarez Posey. Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was best known for his song “Gangsta’s Paradise.” According to TMZ.com, Posey said the musician collapsed at a friend’s house. The cause of death was initially unknown.
The rapper’s sudden death sparked consternation in the music community. “Peaceful journey, brother,” wrote drummer and hip-hop musician Questlove (51) on Instagram. This is “sad news”, rapper Ice Cube (53) posted on Twitter. He himself witnessed Coolio’s rise to the top of the industry.
After his debut album “It Takes a Thief” was released in 1994, Coolio celebrated his worldwide breakthrough a year later with the Grammy-winning hit “Gangsta’s Paradise”. The song was also the theme song to the drama “Dangerous Minds,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer. The number reached number 1 in the charts in several countries, including Austria. Coolio also had success with songs like “Fantastic Voyage” and “I Remember”. He has also appeared in TV series and films such as Batman & Robin and Dracula 3000.
In conflict with the law
The rapper had repeatedly run into trouble with the law for illegal possession of drugs and weapons. He was also on trial in Germany in 1998. At that time he was sentenced to six months probation and a fine for being an accessory to robbery and assault.