Rapper Coolio, best known for his 1995 hit Gangsta’s Paradise, has died aged 59.
His manager said he was visiting a friend’s house in Los Angeles when he apparently had a heart attack.
Real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., Coolio rose to prominence on the LA rap scene in the 1980s, but it was Gangsta’s Paradise that catapulted him to international fame and earned him a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance. .
The song reached number one on the US Billboard chart and stayed there for three weeks.
He was nominated for five other Grammy Awards during his career, which began in the late 1980s.
His hit Fantastic Voyage peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
American rapper Vanilla Ice said he was “panic” after reports of Coolio’s death.
“I’m so freaked out just hearing that my good friend Coolio has passed away,” real-name rapper Robert Matthew Van Winkle tweeted.
Ice Cube said: “This is sad news.”
The rapper, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson Sr, tweeted: “I witnessed this man’s honing to the top of the industry firsthand. Rest In Peace.”
Born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, Coolio moved to Compton, California, where he attended community college. He worked as a volunteer firefighter and airport security before devoting himself full time to hip-hop and releasing his first single in 1987.
He filmed Gangsta’s Paradise for the 1995 film Dangerous Minds starring Michelle Pfeiffer.
He also provided the opening track Aw, Here It Goes! for the TV series Kenan & Kel.
Rapper who ranked third on Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother’s sixth series in 2009.
Police sources told entertainment site TMZ that no drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at the scene of Coolio’s death.
The report said paramedics were called to a home in Los Angeles around 4 p.m. to a medical emergency and upon arrival they pronounced Coolio dead.
The website added that police had opened an investigation into the death but there was no indication of foul play.