Questlove, MC Hammer, Martin Lawrence, more remember Coolio: 'Peaceful Journey Brother'
The world of entertainment is remembering the life and legacy of rap icon Coolio.
The 59-year-old rapper and record producer, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died at the Los Angeles home of a friend, longtime manager Jarez Posey told The Associated Press. The cause was not immediately clear.
Sheila Finegan, another manager of Coolio's, confirmed in a statement to USA TODAY the rapper died Wednesday afternoon.
"He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly," Finegan said. "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."
Best known for hits like "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage," Coolio was born in Pennsylvania in 1963 and later moved to Compton, California, where he was raised. He recorded records in the 1980s, and his career blew up in 1995 with the release of "Gangsta's Paradise," which was featured in the Michelle Pfeiffer-led film "Dangerous Minds."
A number of stars have taken to social media to mourn the Grammy-winning emcee's death.
Coolio:Rapper of hits 'Gangsta's Paradise,' 'Fantastic Voyage,' dead at 59: Reports
Questlove, drummer of The Roots, shared a black-and-white photo of the rapper on Instagram.
"Peaceful Journey Brother," Questlove wrote.
"First CD I ever bought in my life and the most legendary Wing 10 Last Dab these eyes have ever seen," tweeted YouTuber and "Hot Ones" co-creator Sean Evans. "RIP Coolio."
"Thank You Coolio," wrote R&B singer Estelle on Twitter.
"One of the nicest dudes I’ve known," rapper MC Hammer wrote on Twitter. "R.I.P. Coolio."
"Coolio is dead. I can't believe I wrote that. Only 59," wrote author Wajahat Ali on Twitter. "If you're Gen X, you know and respect. Gangstas Paradise inshallah."
"This is sad news," fellow rapper Ice Cube tweeted. "I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry."
Writer and content creator Nadirah remembered Coolio for his contribution to "Aw Here it Goes," the theme song of the '90s Nickelodeon sitcom "Kenan and Kel."
"The way tv and hip-hop were so connected in the 90s is something i’ll never forget," Nadirah tweeted. "And it gave us one of the best songs in the kenan and kel theme by coolio. rest in peace."
"Maaannnnn RIP Coolio 😭 Gonna blast 'Gangsta’s Paradise' for the rest of the day," WWE host Kayla Braxton tweeted.
Satirist “Weird Al” Yankovic, who famously spoofed “Gangsta’s Paradise" in 1996 with the parody “Amish Paradise,” tweeted a sweet throwback photo of the two men hugging. Coolio had said in an interview at the time that he wasn’t cool with Yankovic’s parody, but the two later made peace.
"RIP Coolio," Yankovic wrote.
During an appearance at Variety's Power of Women event Wednesday, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton reacted to the rapper's death, with Hillary calling his passing "a big loss."
"I'm definitely of the generation who grew up on 'Gangsta's Paradise,' " Chelsea told AP. "It seems so improbable to me: He wasn't that old. He was such an icon.
"He continued to be so productive, and all of our thoughts, sympathies, prayers and solidarity have to be with his loved ones, his family and his friends in this moment."
Actress Tia Mowry-Hardrict told AP she recalls she and sister Tamara Mowry-Housley referencing Coolio frequently on their teen sitcom "Sister, Sister."
"He was so young, but it's also just a testimony that life is short and we all go," Mowry-Hardrict said. "On 'Sister, Sister,' we would say 'carpe diem,' so it's all about carpe diem, just living your life to its fullest."
"My deepest condolences and prayers go out to the family of Coolio," actor Martin Lawrence tweeted.
Contributing: Charles Trepany, USA TODAY; Jonathan Landrum Jr. and Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press