Rapper and Actor Coolio Dead at 59

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COOLIO, WHOSE NINETIES music was a staple on radio, a favorite on MTV, and included the hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died. He was 59.

Coolio’s manager, Jarez Posey, confirmed the rapper’s death. A cause of death was not immediately available.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. in Monessan, Pennsylvania, he later moved to Compton, California, where he cut his first single in the late 1980s. He later joined WC and the Maad Circle and contributed to their debut album, Ain’t a Damn Thang Changed.

By 1994, he had established himself in the Los Angeles rap scene and signed to Tommy Boy Records, where he released his debut studio album, It Takes a Thief. His single “Fantastic Voyage” hit Number Three on the Billboard Hot 100. A year later he dropped his classic “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which appeared in the movie, Dangerous Minds.

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