Rapper turned actor Coolio, best known for his Grammy-winning single "Gangsta's Paradise" from 1995, has passed away according to a report. TMZ brings word of his death, with his manager Jarez confirming the news to them. According to the outlet, Coolio was visiting a friend's home and was found unconscious on the bathroom floor after some time, with EMTs arriving and then pronouncing him dead on the scene. Though no official cause of death has been given, on-site EMTs "suspect he suffered cardiac arrest" according to TMZ. Born August 1, 1963, Coolio was 59 at the time of his death.
As a musician, Coolio began recording music in the late 1980s but released his first full-length album in 1994 with It Takes a Thief, which would go on to become certified Platinum. His most successful release of all-time, 1995's Gangsta's Paradise, wasn't originally written to be released on one of his albums, instead produced as a single for the movie Dangerous Minds. The track would not only net Coolio a Best Rap Solo Performance Grammy Award but would spawn one of the most iconic music videos of the 1990s (featuring Coolio alongside Michelle Pfeiffer and directed by Antoine Fuqua). "Gangsta's Paradise" would go on to be certified triple Platinum with over 3 million sales in the United States.
Coolio release eight studio albums across his career. A certain generation may also remember him for providing the theme song to the Nickelodeon sitcom Kenan & Kel and contributing to the song "Hit 'Em High (The Monstars' Anthem)" for the original Space Jam.
In addition to performing as a musician, Coolio would also make his mark on the big screen. Coolio would appear in quite a few horror movies across his career including Leprechaun in the Hood, The Convent, Dracula 3000, and others. He'd also appear in a handful of Marvel and DC adaptations, with small roles in Batman & Robin and the original Daredevil feature film.
Coolio also made a career out of television appearances, oftentimes playing himself in various shows including Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Joey, and Black Jesus. He would also appear in actual roles like on drama Early Edition, lending his voice to Static Shock, and voicing Kwanzaa-bot on Futurama. The rapper also starred in several reality shows like Coolio's Rules.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time. May he rest in peace.
(Cover Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)