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US rapper and former Big Brother star Coolio ‘dead at age 59’

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 2022-09-29
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Rapper Coolio, responsible for 1990s hit song Gangsta’s Paradise, has reportedly died aged 59.

The US rapper, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr, died on Wednesday, his manager confirmed to multiple US outlets.

Coolio came third in the sixth series of UK Celebrity Big Brother in 2009 and went on to join the cast of Ultimate Big Brother the following year, the last series of the show to air on Channel 4.

The rapper was born in Pennsylvania, but later moved to Compton, California, where he released his first single in 1987.

He recorded Gangsta’s Paradise for the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, and it went on to become one of the most successful rap songs of all time.

The track topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and won Coolio the Grammy award for best rap solo performance in 1996.

The song was also parodied by US musical comedian Weird Al Yankovic, as Amish Paradise, though at the time it was claimed that Coolio had not given him permission to do so.

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