Rapper Coolio Dead at 59

Rapper Coolio, who won a Grammy Award for his 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise," died at age 59 in Los Angeles.

By Angie Orellana Hernandez Sep 29, 2022 1:16 AMTags
Watch: Rapper Coolio Dead at 59

The music world is saying goodbye to an iconic ‘90s star.

Coolio, known for his '90s hit "Gangsta's Paradise" from the movie Dangerous Minds, died on Sept. 28 in Los Angeles. He was 59.

Coolio's manager Jarez Posey confirmed his death to NBC News, stating, "As far as what I know now is that he was at a friend's house and was in his bathroom." Jarez said Coolio died of a suspected heart attack, but no official cause of death has been confirmed.

Per TMZ, when Coolio didn't respond to his name being called, his friend went inside the bathroom and found him unresponsive on the floor. The friend reportedly called paramedics.

The Los Angeles Police Department told E! News that they received a call around 4 p.m. of a man around 60 years old, but did not confirm his identity. He was unresponsive when they arrived and died within an hour, despite resuscitation efforts, police said. LAPD said the death investigation appears to be of natural cause with no apparent evidence of foul play at this time.

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Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was born in Monessen, Pa., and later moved to Compton, Calif., where he would begin to set the roots for his music career.

Coolio's single "Fantastic Voyage" from his 1994 debut album It Takes A Thief, rose to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. His next biggest single would be "Gangsta's Paradise," featuring R&B singer L.V., which he recorded for John N. Smith's 1995 film Dangerous Minds.

The song spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Coolio went on to perform the hit at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards, where he won Best Rap Solo Performance that year. Coolio put the song on his 1995 album Gangsta's Paradise, which also had hits "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" and "Too Hot."

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In 2015, Coolio said that "Gangsta's Paradise" was still praised amongst his fans as a song that had changed their lives.

"A lot of people say it saved them from whatever demons they were dealing with, that they listened to the song and it helped them carry on; it saved them from suicide, all kinds of s--t," Coolio told Rolling Stone at the time. "A lot of guys told me it got 'em through their prison time. That's why I think of the song as divine intervention, because it doesn't even have the same meaning that it did in the beginning — it now means whatever you think it means. It has nothing to do with me; it has to do with whatever person is listening to it at the time. It's all things to all people."

Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for PGD Global

The rapper also tapped into other artistic pursuits in television and movie roles, where he would often play himself. Coolio portrayed supervillain Jonathan Crane in 1997's Batman & Robin, as well as voiced Kwanzaa-bot in Futurama and made appearances on Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Charmed, All That and The Nanny.

Coolio additionally created the cooking series Cookin' With Coolio and reality television show Coolio's Rules, which showed the rapper parenting four of his children—Artisha, Brandi, Artis and Jackie—as a single dad, according to the Boston Herald.

He called himself a "pretty protective" father in a 2008 interview, where he spoke about the connection he has with his children.

"You can't go around being mad at each other and, you know, we're not really that type anyway," he told the Boston Herald. "My kids can't stay mad at me, anyway. You know, I'm the daddy."

He is reportedly survived by six children, who he shares with ex-wife Josefa Salina.

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