Coolio, the US rapper best known for the chart-topping 1995 song Gangsta’s Paradise, has died aged 59
Coolio, who won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” died at a friend’s house in Los Angeles at the age of 59. The reason was not immediately apparent.
Coolio, the rapper who was one of the hip-biggest hop names in the 1990s with singles including “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” died Wednesday at the age of 59, according to his manager.
Coolio, whose actual name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died at a friend’s house in Los Angeles, according to longtime manager Jarez Posey. The reason was not immediately apparent.
Coolio received a Grammy for best solo rap performance for his 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise” from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds.”
Throughout his career, which began in the late 1980s, he was nominated for five further Grammys.
Coolio was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh, and later relocated to Compton, California, to attend community college. Before devoting himself entirely to the hip-hop culture, he worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security.
His career took off with the release of his debut album, It Takes a Thief, on Tommy Boy Records in 1994. Its first hit, “Fantastic Voyage, “would peak at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.
With its ominous beginning lyrics, “Gangsta’s Paradise” will become a No. 1 song a year later:
“As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I look back on my life and realize there’s not much left, ’cause I’ve been blastin’ and laughing for so long, that my mama believes my mind is gone.”
The untimely death sparked a flood of emotions on social media.
“This is awful news,” Ice Cube tweeted. “I have witnessed first hand this man’s ascension to the top of the industry.” @Coolio, rest in peace.”
Questlove tweeted, “Peaceful voyage brother.”