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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Beth Ure

LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg and MC Hammer lead tributes to rapper Coolio after death aged 59

Tributes have been pouring in from celebrities following the announcement of the death of rapper Coolio.

The US rapper, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr, died on Wednesday, his manager confirmed to multiple US outlets. He is best known for his hit song Gangsta's Paradise, and for appearing in the sixth series of Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother in 2009, coming in third place.

Fellow rappers and musicians, as well as other celebrities who worked with him, have taken to social media to pay tribute to the rapper.

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US musical comedian Weird Al Yankovic paid his respects to Coolio with a short tribute on social media. Sharing a picture of the pair embracing, he wrote: “RIP Coolio”.

Yankovic parodied the rapper’s 1995 hit Gangsta’s Paradise as Amish Paradise, though at the time it was claimed that Coolio had not given him permission to do so and the pair are said to have fallen out. Coolio stated in interviews that the pair had since made amends.

In his own online tribute, US rapper LL Cool J wrote: “Rest in power my brother.

Former NWA star Ice Cube said he had witnessed Coolio’s “grind to the top of the industry” in his own tribute.

“This is sad news,” the rapper and actor wrote on Twitter. “I witnessed first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio.”

MC Hammer described Coolio as “one of the nicest dudes I’ve known”.

“Good people. RIP Coolio,” he wrote, sharing a black and white picture of the rapper. He later posted a second picture of the pair together, along with Tupac and Snoop Dogg.

Snoop Dogg referenced Coolio’s hit 1995 song in his own tribute, writing: “Gangstas paradise. R I P.”

The rapper shared a picture of the two on Instagram, posing on the set of the music video for their collaborative track Gangsta Walk, released in 2006.

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Michelle Pfeiffer said she was “heartbroken” to hear of Coolio’s death and she remembered him as being “nothing but gracious”. The US actress starred in the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, part of which was sound-tracked by the rapper’s hit song Gangsta’s Paradise.

“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio,” Pfeiffer wrote on Instagram, sharing a clip of the film featuring the track. “A life cut entirely too short. As some of you may know I was lucky enough to work with him on Dangerous Minds in 1995.

“He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack – which I think was the reason our film saw so much success. 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.”

According to US media outlet TMZ, Coolio was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s house in Los Angeles.

The rapper's other well-known songs included C U When U Get There and he had also delighted followers with his passion in the kitchen, releasing his recipe book Cookin’ With Coolio in 2009.

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.

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