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Rapper Coolio is dead at 59

The "Gangsta’s Paradise" rapper was found unresponsive on Sept. 28.
/ Source: TODAY

Coolio, the award-winning rapper, has died. He was 59.

The “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper — whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr. was found dead on Wednesday, Sept. 28, his manager Jarez Posey confirmed to TODAY.

I Love the 90's Concert - Clarkston, MI
Coolio performs during the "I Love The 90's" tour on Aug. 19, 2016 in Clarkston, Michigan.Scott Legato / Getty Images

According to Posey, Coolio was at a friend's house in Los Angeles and was found unresponsive in the bathroom.

Posey said he believed the rapper had a heart attack but an official cause of death is unknown.

An LAPD spokesman told NBC News that Coolio's death is being investigated as as a death where foul play is not immediately suspected.

The rapper was pronounced dead at a South Los Angeles residence after Los Angeles Fire paramedics responded around 4 p.m. to the 2900 block of Chesapeake Avenue, officials said.

The LAPD is currently the lead investigative agency in the case. The case will then be handed over to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office which will ultimately issue an autopsy report.

Coolio Singing
Coolio performs in the mid-1990s.Tim Mosenfelder / Corbis via Getty Images

Born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, Coolio moved to Compton, California, where he started his rapping career. He released his first single, “Whatcha Gonna Do?” in 1987, eventually joining the group WC and the Maad Circle.

He released his first album, “It Take a Thief,” in 1994, which hit No. 8 on the Billboard 200. In 1995, Coolio released “Gangsta’s Paradise” featuring L.V for the film “Dangerous Minds. It would become his biggest hit and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks. The track earned him a Grammy award for Best Rap Solo Performance.

In August of this year, the video joined YouTube’s one billion views club.

“Yo, what’s up y’all? We just hit one billion,” he said in an Instagram video. “I want to thank everybody for all the years of love and being there for me. I hope I got you through some good times and got you through some bad times, cuz he d--- sure got me through some… it’s on and it’s on and it’s on.”

Coolio released a total of eight studio albums, with his last being 2009’s “From the Bottom 2 the Top.” Aside from his music career, he also appeared in a number of TV shows like “Martin,” “All That,” “The Nanny,” “Gravity Falls,” “Teachers,” “Charmed” and “Kenan & Kel,” for which he performed the theme song.

He also made appearances in films like “Batman & Robin,” “Judgment Day,” “Leprechaun in the Hood,” “Get Over It” and “Dracula 3000.”

Upon hearing news of his death, celebrities and fans posted their condolences on social media.

"This is sad news. I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio," Ice Cube tweeted.

"Peaceful Journey Brother. #Coolio," Questlove wrote on Instagram.

Martin Lawrence tweeted, "My deepest condolences and prayers go out to the family of @Coolio."

"Gangstas paradise. R. I. P." Snoop Dogg wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the two.

"59 is a lot better than 24," Devon Sawa tweeted, referencing his "Gangsta's Paradise" lyrics, adding, "RIP Coolio."

Kenan Thompson also reposted Questlove's Instagram on his stories, writing, "D--- homie!!! Rest in Power!!!!"

Kenan Thompson reacts to Coolio's death.
Kenan Thompson reacts to Coolio's death.Instagram Story

Melissa Joan Hart also shared a still from "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," writing on Instagram, "I had the amazing honor to work and play with @coolio a few times and he was always down for a chat, a complete gentleman and a ton of fun to hang with. What a loss! Rest In Peace!"

Coolio had been touring as part of the “I Love the 90s” concerts, which included artists like Vanilla Ice, All 4 One and Color Me Badd. He was next scheduled to perform in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sept. 30.

Vanilla Ice also tweeted, "I’m freaking out I just heard my good friend Coolio passed away."