Coolio, who won a Grammy for his No. 1 smash-hit ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ in 1996, has passed away at the age of 59. Whilst no cause of death has been determined yet, Coolio leaves behind a long career as a rapper, record producer, and actor.
Coolio’s manager, Jarez Posey, confirmed the news that the rapper died Wednesday in Los Angeles. Speaking with TMZ, Posey confirmed that Coolio, whose birth name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr, went to a bathroom at a friend’s house and did not return, leaving his friend to call paramedics. Unfortunately, Coolio was declared dead at the scene, with an autopsy and toxicology test to be conducted to determine the official cause of the rapper’s death. Law enforcement has stated that no drugs or drug paraphernalia have been found at the scene. Paramedics allegedly told Coolio’s friend they suspect possible cardiac arrest as the cause.
Whilst beginning his career in the rap scene in the late 80s, Coolio gained national fame when contributing to the soundtrack of Dangerous Minds. Coolio’s 1995 hit, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” featured in the film starring Michelle Pfeiffer, staying at number one for three weeks and earning him a Grammy in the following year. His success in music continued with hits such as “Fantastic Voyage” (1994), “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New)” (1996), and “It’s All the Way Live (Now)” (1996). According to a Deadline report, Coolio was still performing as recently as last week in concert in Chicago.
With his music success, Coolio’s career as an actor also picked up, where he starred in several movies from 1996 through to 2021. Amidst a long list of films, some of his more recognizable film roles include Batman and Robin, playing Jonathan Crane, Judgment Day as Luther/‘Lucifer’,The Convent, Submerged, Perfume, Daredevil as Dante Jackson, and Two Hundred Thousand Dirty. Coolio also starred as himself in a number of films, including The Big Help, Get Over It, Love Hollywood Style, Lord of the Freaks, Nina, The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story, and Fintech Rap Battle: Monzo VS Starling to name just a few.
Coolio’s acting career also extended into television, where he also starred in a number of series from 1995 to 2021. Coolio first appeared in The Parent ‘Hood as The Gangster, and later that year in Martin as himself. After appearing in a few other shows, he played the role of Irwin in two episodes of The Nanny in 1998, Lazarus Demon in Charmed in 2002, and Mr Wence in Teachers in 2017. As with his film career, Coolio often starred as himself in several television shows, including in a 1996 episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, V.I.P. in 1998, Holla in 2002, Coolio’s Rules in 2008, and most recently, in Let’s Be Real in 2021. Coolio also competed as a contestant on Fear Factor and provided the voice of Wax Coolio in Gravity Falls.
Coolio’s legacy will last forever thanks to not only his “Gangsta’s Paradise” hit, but for his impact throughout the music, film, and television industries. Our thoughts and prayers are with Coolio‘s friends, and family as we learn more about his death in the coming days.