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West Coast rapper ‘Coolio’ dies at 59

Rapper Coolio of “Coolio’s Rules” performs during day 13 of the NBC Universal 2008 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour held at the Beverly Hilton hotel on July 20, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

West Coast rapper Coolio, known for hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “C U When U Get There,” has died at the age of 59.

NBC News confirmed the rapper’s death from his manager, who said the musician died from a heart attack in his bathroom.

TMZ first reported the death of the famous hip hop artist, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., on Wednesday night.

The outlet reported he died at his Los Angeles home.

Coolio sold more than 17 million records throughout his career, which took off in the ’90s after he released “Gangsta’s Paradise” in 1995.

The song won him best rap performance for a solo artist in 1996 and was also amplified by comedic artist Weird Al Yankovic’s parody hit “Amish Paradise” that year.

Coolio is also known for songs like “Fantastic Voyage” and “1,2,34 (Sumpin’ New),” and for introducing a more widely appealing pop-rap style when hip hop was centered on a more hardcore gangster rap sound.

His music has also been featured in popular movies, including the 1996 film “Space Jam” and 1995’s “Dangerous Minds,” and he collaborated with artists such as hip hop supergroup De La Soul and will.i.am. from the Black Eyed Peas.

Cooking was another passion he had outside of music, which evolved from his relationship with his mother. In 2009, the rapper released a cookbook titled “Cookin’ with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price.”

Coolio was born in Monessen, Pa., and grew up in Compton, Calif.

Tags California Coolio hip hop Los Angeles Music NBC News Rap TMZ

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