Coolio, rapper known for 'Gangsta's Paradise,' dies at 59

Coolio was a rapper who was one of hip-hop's most prominent names in the 1990s, with hits like "Gangsta's Paradise", and "Fantastic Voyage."

He died Wednesday at the age of 59, according to his manager.

Coolio, whose legal title was Artis Leon IIvey Jr., passed away at Los Angeles' home of a longtime manager Juarez Posey, The Associated Press reported. 

The cause of the death was not immediately known.

Coolio was awarded a Grammy for Best Solo Rap Performance for "Gangsta's Paradise," a 1995 hit from the soundtrack to Michelle Pfeiffer's film "Dangerous Minds." It samples Stevie Wonder's 1976 single "Pastime Paradise."ly known.

During a career that began late in the 1980s, he has been nominated for five more Grammys.

Coolio was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh. He then moved to Compton (California) where he attended community college.

Coolio worked as a volunteer firefighter, and then he became a full-time hip-hop artist.

His career took off after the 1994 release of "It Takes A Thief", his debut album on Tommy Boy Records.

One year later, Gangsta's Paradise would be a No. With its dark opening lyrics, "Gangsta's Paradise" would become a No. 1 single.

One year later, Gangsta's Paradise would be a No. With its dark opening lyrics, "Gangsta's Paradise" would become a No. 1 single.