() — Coolio, the ’90s rapper who lit up the music charts with hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” has died at age 59, his friend and manager Jarez Posey told .
Posey said Coolio died late afternoon local time in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Details about the circumstances of his death were not immediately available.
Coolio grew up in Compton, California, according to a biography on his official website.
Talking with Los Angeles Times in 1994, he recalled falling into the drug scene but got out by pursuing a career as a firefighter.
“I wasn’t looking for a career, I was looking for a way to get clean, a way to get away from drugs,” he told the publication. “It was going to kill me and I knew I had to stop. Firefighting training was the discipline he needed. We ran every day. He didn’t drink or smoke or do the things that he used to do.”
His rapping career began in the 1980s and he gained fame in the underground scene.
“Fantastic Voyage” was the first song that really put him on the map.
Arguably his biggest song, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” from the “Dangerous Minds” movie soundtrack, boosted his fame to gigantic proportions. She won a Grammy in 1996 for the song.
In the age of streaming, it has lived on. In July 2022, the song reached a milestone of billion views on YouTube.
“It’s one of those kinds of songs that transcends generations,” said in a recent interview. “I didn’t use any buzzwords… I think it made it timeless.”
Throughout his career, Coolio sold more than 17 million records, according to his website.
Coolio also holds a special place in the hearts of some Millennials for his work on the theme song for the popular Nickelodeon television series “Kenan and Kel” and his contribution to the “Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip-Hop Experiment” album, which included songs by various hip-hop artists that were inspired by the Cartoon Network animated series.
In recent years, Coolio has enjoyed the perks of being a nostalgic figure, making television appearances on shows like “Celebrity Cook Off” and “Celebrity Chopped.”
He also had a show on Oxygen, “Coolio’s Rules,” which aired in 2008.
This story is developing and will be updated.