Coolio Dead at 59: Celebrities Pay Tribute to GRAMMY-Winning Rapper

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In the wake of Coolio's untimely death on Wednesday, famous fans and collaborators who knew the "Gangsta's Paradise" rapper took to social media to pay tribute and share memories.

Coolio -- who was born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. -- died in Los Angeles on Sept. 28, at the age of 59. His longtime manager, Jarez, confirmed the news toTMZ. Jarez told the outlet that paramedics suspect cardiac arrest was the cause of death, though no official determination has been made.

After entering the L.A. rap scene in the '80s, Coolio came to fame in 1995 when he recorded "Gangsta's Paradise" for Dangerous Minds. The track earned the rapper a GRAMMY.

Many celebs reflected on Coolio's career and the work he put into his music while remembering him in tributes.

ET spoke with John Legend Wednesday evening, who shared said the news of Coolio's death is "so tragic."

"We are losing people at too young of an age," Legend told ET. "Coolio made some great songs, it was soundtrack of our lives. He is gone too early and tragically, it’s so sad."

"This is sad news," Ice Cube wrote on Twitter. "I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace."

Kenan Thompson took to his Instagram stories to share his shock at the news and a tribute. Thompson worked with Coolio on his hit Nickelodeon series Kenan & Kel, and Coolio even wrote and performed the show's theme song.

Kenan Thompson
Kenan Thompson/Instagram

Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred in Dangerous Minds, shared a moving tribute to Coolio. "Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio. 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."

LeBron James took to his Instagram Story to pay tribute to Coolio, saying, "Exactly where he is now, Gangsta's Paradise."

Ice-T revealed that he had just spoken to Coolio two weeks prior to his death. "Holly Sh**!!! I was just talking to him 2 weeks ago! He was performing in Europe... This is so Fd up..."

MC Hammer spoke out about Coolio's passing, writing, "One of the nicest dudes I’ve known. Good people. R.I.P. Coolio"

ESPN sportswriter Marc J. Spears reflected on having met Coolio outside a club before he made it big.

"Had a chance to randomly and briefly meet Coolio before he became a megastar as he sold his CD outside of San Jose’s DB Coopers Club one early ‘90’s night," Spears wrote. "Respected the drive, work ethic & love for his music at that time not knowing the rap icon he’d become. Rest In Peace Legend."

Throughout his career, Coolio also acted in numerous projects and many of his past co-stars, including Melissa Joan Hart, joined the chorus of voices singing his posthumous praises.

"I had the amazing honor to work and play with @coolio a few times and he was always down for a chat, a complete gentleman and a ton of fun to hang with," Hart wrote. "What a loss! Rest In Peace!"

From Questlove to Snoop Dogg and many more, here's a look at the many tributes shared in Coolio's memory:

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