US rapper Coolio has died aged 59.
The musician achieved worldwide fame with his Grammy-winning 1990s hit Gangsta's Paradise, died on Wednesday afternoon.
Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr, scored a UK number 1 in 1995 with Gangta's Paradise, which also earned him a Grammy for best rap performance.
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Actress Michelle Pfeiffer is among those who paid tribute to the star, who came third in UK Celebrity Big Brother in 2009.
Pfeiffer, 64, said she was “heartbroken” to hear the news of his death, adding that she remembered him as “nothing but gracious” when they worked together.
“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a clip of the film featuring the track. A life cut entirely too short.
“I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song. Sending love and light to his family. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr.”
Coolio’s manager at Trinity Artists International, Sheila Finegan, confirmed the death to the PA news agency.
“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” the agency said in a statement. "He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly.
“Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”
The rapper was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s house in Los Angeles, according to US media outlet TMZ.
The rapper came third in the sixth series of UK Celebrity Big Brother in 2009, losing out to broadcaster Terry Christian, who was the runner-up, and presenter and model Ulrika Jonsson, who won.
But along with Jonsson he went on to join the cast of Ultimate Big Brother the following year in 2010, the last series of the show to air on Channel 4. Jonsson told PA that his death was a “shock” but the pair had shared “so many laughs” together.
“I spent a fair bit of time with Coolio – he was a misogynist, broke wind a lot; he fancied himself as a cook but my God, we had so many laughs,” she said.
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