American rapper Leon Ivey Jr., known professionally known by his stage moniker Coolio, has died at 59.
According to his longtime manager Jarez Posey, Coolio died at a friend’s home in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday from what he said appears to be a cardiac arrest.
Coolio was discovered unresponsive on a bathroom floor and the exact cause of his death is yet to be established.
However, preliminary investigations did not find drugs or drug paraphernalia at the scene of Coolio’s death and an autopsy will be done to determine his exact cause of death.
He was born on August 1, 1963, in Monessen, Pennsylvania, before moving to Compton, California where he attended Compton Community College.
Coolio worked as a volunteer firefighter and security officer at the Los Angeles International Airport before becoming a rapper.
The recorded his debut single entitled “Watcha Gonna Do” in 1997
He is best known for his 1995 single hit Gangsta’s Paradise which he sampled from Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song Pastime Paradise.
It became the number one hit globally, topping international charts.
The runaway hit saw Coolio win a Grammy for best solo rap performance.
The catalogue of Coolio’s songs includes another popular hit, See You When You Get There; in which he featured Hip Hop group 40 Thevs
The song achieved international success and became an anthem among the youth when it was released in June 1997 as the first single from his third Studio album, My Soul.
The hit peaked at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number seven on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart.
Away from music, Coolio was enlisted in July 2008 as a spokesperson for the Environmental Justice and Climate Change group.
He was tasked with educating students at historically black colleges and universities about global warming.
Coolio was also a spokesperson for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
In an interview, the rapper disclosed that as a child; he checked into hospitals several times following asthma complications experienced and his children also suffered from asthma.
In 2017, Coolio announced he was running for Vice President on Cherie DeVille’s ticket. DeVille is a former-porn-star-turned-physical-therapist.
Coolio was married in 1996 to Josefa Salinas, and they divorced in 2000.
He is survived by six children.