Rapper Coolio, best known for his hit "Gangsta's Paradise", has died aged 59.
Coolio, whose legal name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died at the Los Angeles home of a friend, longtime manager Jarez Posey told The Associated Press. The cause was not immediately clear.
Coolio rose to fame in the 1990s with his albums It Takes a Thief, Gangsta's Paradise and My Soul.
Coolio won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for Gangsta's Paradise, the 1995 hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds that sampled Stevie Wonder's 1976 song Pastime Paradise.
He was nominated for five other Grammys during a career that began in the late-1980s.
Born in Monessen, Pennsylvania south of Pittsburgh, Coolio moved to Compton, California, where he went to community college. He worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security before devoting himself full-time to the hip-hop scene.
His career took off with the 1994 release of his debut album on Tommy Boy Records, It Takes a Thief. It's opening track, Fantastic Voyage, would reach No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
A year later, Gangsta's Paradise would become a No. 1 single, with its dark opening lyrics:
"As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there's not much left, 'cause I've been blastin' and laughin' so long, that even my mama thinks that my mind is gone."
Coolio has sold more than 18 million records and starred in two seasons of Celebrity Big Brother in the US.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Back in 2018, the American artist hailed Canberra's light-rail project as "dope" ahead of an Australian tour that year.
"I think a light rail system is dope," he told ACM's Canberra Times.
"It's a very inexpensive form of transportation and very easy to get around, so yes, it's dope."
- with Australian Associated Press