Coolio, who rose to global superstardom with his Grammy-winning hit "Gangsta's Paradise" and his top five hit "Fantastic Voyage," has passed away, reports CNN.
Jarez Posey, his longtime manager, confirmed his passing.
According to Posey, Coolio was found unresponsive on Wednesday afternoon while visiting a friend's house. After he didn’t come out of the bathroom, the ambulance was called.
A cause of death has not yet been determined and an investigation is ongoing. No foul play is suspected.
Sheila Finegan, Coolio's representative and executive partner at Trinity Artists International, released a statement confirming his passing.
"We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon," her statement read. "He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. 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.”
“This is sad news,” his post read. “I witnessed firsthand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio.”
Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. on August 1, 1963, in Monessen, Pennsylvania, Coolio later relocated to Compton, California. After attending Compton Community College, he worked various jobs, such as a volunteer firefighter and security at Los Angeles International Airport, before launching his rap career.
In the early 1990s, he became affiliated with WC and the Maad Circle; he is a credited co-contributor on the group's debut album Ain't a Damn Thang Changed on the single "Dress Code."
Coolio burst into the mainstream in 1994 with the release of his debut album, It Takes a Thief. The album's first single, “Fantastic Voyage,” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and catapulted the album to platinum status.
In 1995, his sophomore album Gangsta's Paradise went on to sell over two million records worldwide. His track “Gangsta’s Paradise” would become a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the biggest selling song of the year. The track also earned Coolio a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance the same year.
In 1996, he wrote the theme song "Aw, Here It Goes!" for the Nickelodeon television series Kenan & Kel.
As an actor, he appeared in Phat Beach, Batman and Robin, Submerged, Leprechaun in the Hood, and many more films.
Over the course of his career, Coolio earned six top 30 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as several platinum and gold albums.
Coolio is survived by his six children.
We at EBONY extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Coolio.