Rapper Coolio has passed away at the age of 59, his manager announced on Wednesday night.
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He was best known for his songs “Fantastic Voyage” and “Gangsta’s Paradise.”
Longtime manager Jarez Posey told The Associated Press that Coolio, a rapper who was among hip-biggest hop’s names in the 1990s and had singles including “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” passed away on Wednesday at the age of 59. He suffered a heart attack while visiting a buddy and was found in the restroom, according to Jarez Posey, his manager.
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Over three decades were spent in Coolio’s music career.
In 1995, Coolio received a Grammy for best solo rap performance. Throughout a career that began in the late 1980s, he received five additional Grammy nominations. “Gangsta’s Paradise,” a 1995 hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer movie “Dangerous Minds,” sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise,” and spent three weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It also won a Grammy for best solo rap performance.
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Real name of Coolio was Artis Leon Ivey Jr. After moving to Compton, California, where he attended community college, the man, who was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh, attended. Before dedicating himself fully to the hip-hop culture, he worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security.
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His career took off when Tommy Boy Records released his debut album, “It Takes a Thief,” in 1994. The album’s lead single, “Fantastic Voyage,” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
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With its ominous beginning lines, “Gangsta’s Paradise” would go on to become a No. 1 song a year later:
“As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there’s not much left, ‘cause I’ve been blastin’ and laughin’ so long, that even my mama thinks that my mind is gone.”
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Coolio thought about the legacy he wished to leave in a 2016 interview with Uproxx.
He declared, “I simply want to be known for being a cool ass dude. And smart. “I just want people to say… ‘He always tried to educate me. He was constantly talking about something that was going to make me a better person.’ It doesn’t matter if they don’t remember my music, my cooking, or my film work.”