Rapper Coolio, who was responsible for the 1990s hit Gangsta’s Paradise, has reportedly died at the age of 59.
The US rapper, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died on Wednesday, his manager confirmed to several US media.
According to TMZ, he was found on the bathroom floor of a friend’s house in Los Angeles.
Coolio finished third in the sixth series of UK Celebrity Big Brother in 2009, losing to broadcaster Terry Christian, who finished second, and presenter and model Ulrika Jonsson, who won.
But along with Jonsson, he joined the cast of Ultimate Big Brother the following year in 2010, the show’s final series to air on Channel 4.
The rapper was born in Pennsylvania but later moved to Compton, California, where he released his first single in 1987.
He recorded Gangsta’s Paradise for the 1995 film Dangerous Minds with Michelle Pfeiffer and it became one of the highest-grossing rap songs of all time.
The track topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and earned Coolio a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
The song was also parodied by US musical comedian Weird Al Yankovic as Amish Paradise, although it was claimed at the time Coolio didn’t give him permission to do so.
However, Coolio stated in interviews that the couple have since made amends.
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Yankovic paid his respects to Coolio with a brief tribute on social media.
He shared a picture of the couple hugging and wrote, “RIP Coolio.”
After news of his death broke, officials at Chicago’s Wrigley Field played the hit and Coolio’s Fantastic Voyage across the stadium as the hometown Cubs hosted the Philadelphia Phillies
Coolio was nominated for five more Grammys during his career, which began in the late 1980s.
Among those who immediately responded to the reports was US rapper Vanilla Ice, who said he “freaked out” after hearing the news.
“I’m freaking out, I just heard my good friend Coolio passed away,” the rapper, whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle, wrote on Twitter.
In his own online tribute, US rapper LL Cool J wrote: “Rest in power my brother. @Coolio love and respect”.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/us-rapper-and-former-big-brother-star-coolio-dead-at-age-59-42025591.html US rapper and ex-Big Brother star Coolio ‘dead at age 59’