Legendary West Coast rapper Coolio passed away Wednesday at the age of 59, according to reports.
Details about his cause of death were not immediately available. But his longtime manager Jarez Posey told NBC News, “As far as what I know now is that he was at a friend’s house and was in his bathroom and had a heart attack.”
Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., grew up in Compton, California. In interviews, he often spoke of how he overcame drugs to become a volunteer firefighter and work airport security before launching a rap career in the 1980s.
In the ’90s, he hit it big on the charts with songs “Fantastic Voyage,” which sampled Lakeside’s song of the same title, and the Grammy-winning “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was a rap remake of Stevie Wonder’s classic “Pasttime Paradise.” The song spent three weeks at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 list.
Coolio went on to enjoy a diverse career, making appearances on several films and TV shows, and touring as a 90s nostalgia act.
According to his website, after his mother passed, he embraced his love of cooking and rediscovered her old recipes. In 2009, he authored the New York Times bestseller “Cookin’ with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price,” which turned old-school, family recipes into accessible, fresh options.
Coolio is reportedly survived by 10 children.