Coolio: Gangsta’s Paradise rapper dead at 59
The artist’s manager says he was found unresponsive in a friend’s bathroom.
Stars including Michelle Pfeiffer and Snoop Dogg have been paying tribute to the US rapper Coolio who has died at the age of 59.
He was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s LA house, his manager Jarez Posey told US media.
Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr, won a Grammy for the 1995 track Gangsta’s Paradise, which led the soundtrack for Dangerous Minds.
Pfeiffer, who starred in the movie, said she was “heartbroken” at the news.
The exact cause of his death on Wednesday has not yet been revealed.
However Mr Posey told TMZ, which first reported the news, that paramedics believed he may have had a cardiac arrest.
Pfeiffer said she thought Coolio’s track was the “reason our film saw so much success” and that she still gets “chills” whenever she hears it.
“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist Coolio,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a clip from the famous music video, which sees her sitting across the table from Coolio as he raps.
“A life cut entirely too short,” she continued. “I remember him being nothing but gracious.”
Dangerous Minds saw Pfeiffer play an ex-Marine who becomes a teacher working on a pilot programme for teenagers who are bright but underachieving, in a tough, inner-city school.
Coolio’s haunting track from it, which samples the Stevie Wonder song Pastime Paradise, continues to be widely listened to and has just passed a billion streams on Spotify, according to his official website.
It begins with Coolio reciting a line from the bible – “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” – before spinning off into a wide-ranging rap which finds him questioning the actions of those around him and wondering if he will “live to see 24”.
The film grossed nearly £85m (£78m) worldwide and the track became the biggest-selling record of the year in the US, in 1995, and Coolio was awarded the Grammy for best rap solo performance.
Gangster’s Paradise went on to become one of the most successful rap songs of all-time, helping to bring the genre into the mainstream.
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