Coolio's Cause of Death Revealed

A family spokesperson has revealed how "Gangsta's Paradise" rapper Coolio died on Sept. 28.

By Corinne Heller Apr 06, 2023 7:38 PMTags
Watch: Rapper Coolio's Cause of Death Revealed

Coolio's family is sharing what led to his death.

The "Gangsta's Paradise" rapper died due to fentanyl, family spokesperson Jarel (Jarez) Posey told TMZ on April 6. According to the rep, authorities informed Coolio's family that he also had traces of heroin and methamphetamines in his system at the time, and added that his asthma and cigarette use were factors as well.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner has officially ruled his cause of death as an accidental overdose of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine, according to an autopsy report obtained by E! News.

Coolio, a father of six, died Sept. 28 at age 59 at a Los Angeles residence. His manager told NBC News later that day, "As far as what I know now is that he was at a friend's house and was in his bathroom and had a heart attack."

A Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson told E! News that paramedics responding to a report of a medical emergency arrived at a home to find a man unresponsive and attempted to resuscitate him for 45 minutes. With consultation with a physician, the star was then pronounced dead.

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A rep for the Los Angeles Police Department also said that the man appeared to have died of natural causes and that there were no evidence of foul play. Coolio's identity was later released by the coroner's office.

Many celebs paid tribute to Coolio after news of his death. Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred with the rapper in a music video for his No. 1 single "Gangsta's Paradise" from the soundtrack to her 1995 film Dangerous Minds, wrote on Instagram that she was "heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio." She added, "A life cut entirely too short."

Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images

Parody musician Weird Al Yankovic, whose 1996 parody of "Gangsta's Paradise," called "Amish Paradise," once drew criticism from the rapper, shared a photo on Twitter of himself hugging the rapper. In his post, which went viral, he wrote, "RIP Coolio."

Coolio, a native of Los Angeles, began his music career in the late '80s and rose to fame with the breakout single "Fantastic Voyage" from his 1994 debut solo album It Takes a Thief. But it was his single "Gangsta's Paradise" that made him an international superstar, partially thanks to the popularity of its music video, which aired on heavy rotation on MTV and other music channels around the world. The song won the star a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.

Watch: Kenan Thompson & Kel Mitchell Remember Coolio

Coolio later released Gangsta's Paradise the album with the single as its lead track. The record, which was certified double Platinum, also contains the hits  "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" and "Too Hot."

Coolio also appeared on reality TV over the past two decades. In 2008, he starred in his own series, Coolio's Rules. A year later, he was a housemate on season six of Celebrity Big Brother UK and later returned for Ultimate Big Brother. In 2012, he competed on the Food Network series Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. The following year, he and his then-girlfriend Mimi appeared on Wife Swap.

Amid his TV endeavors, Coolio continued his music career. In a July interview with the Irish Examiner, he revealed he was working on a collaboration with Christy Dignam of the Irish rock band Aslan.

"It's probably going to be a banger, I would imagine," the rapper told the newspaper. "I don't know if it's going to be dark and deep or if we're going to go clubby and happy—that remains to be seen. I'm more inclined with being dark and deep and still being a banger."

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