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Coolio, “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper, dies at 59 | USA TODAY


Coolio, an American rapper most known for his 1995 “Gangsta’s Paradise” hit single, has died at age 59.

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Coolio died at the Los Angeles home of a friend, longtime manager Jarez Posey told The Associated Press. The cause was not immediately clear.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1963, Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., later moved to Compton, California, where he was raised. He recorded records in the 1980s, and his career blew up in 1995 with his song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was featured in the Michelle Pfeiffer-led film “Dangerous Minds.”

“It’s about life, because you’re living in the gangster’s paradise also,” Coolio said of the song on the “Howard Stern Show” in 1995. Coolio earned six Grammy Award nominations and one win, for best rap solo performance for “Gangsta’s Paradise” in 1996. The hit song, which was played constantly on MTV, was used for the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film “Dangerous Minds” and sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise.”

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