'Gangsta's Paradise' rapper Coolio dies aged 59

Coolio, who won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for “Gangsta's Paradise,” died aged 59 at the Los Angeles home of a friend. The cause was not immediately clear.

September 29, 2022 07:50 am | Updated 07:50 am IST - LOS ANGELES

File picture of Coolio performing at the halftime of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, USA. Coolio, the rapper who was among hip-hop’s biggest names of the 1990s, died on September 28, 2022

File picture of Coolio performing at the halftime of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, USA. Coolio, the rapper who was among hip-hop’s biggest names of the 1990s, died on September 28, 2022 | Photo Credit: AP

Coolio, the rapper who was among hip-hop's biggest names of the 1990s with hits including “Gangsta's Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” died Wednesday at age 59, his manager said.

Coolio, whose legal name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died at the Los Angeles home of a friend, longtime manager Jarez Posey told The Associated Press. The cause was not immediately clear.

Coolio won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for “Gangsta's Paradise,” the 1995 hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds that sampled Stevie Wonder's 1976 song “Pastime Paradise."

He was nominated for five other Grammys during a career that began in the late-1980s.

Who was Coolio?

Born in Monessen, Pennsylvania south of Pittsburgh, Coolio moved to Compton, California, where he went to community college. He worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security before devoting himself full-time to the hip-hop scene.

His career took off with the 1994 release of his debut album on Tommy Boy Records, It Takes a Thief. It's opening track, “Fantastic Voyage," would reach No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

A year later, “Gangsta's Paradise” would become a No. 1 single, with its dark opening lyrics:

“As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there’s not much left, ‘cause I’ve been blastin’ and laughin’ so long, that even my mama thinks that my mind is gone.”

Reactions to Coolio’s death

Social media lit up with reactions to the unexpected death.

“This is sad news,” Ice Cube said on Twitter. “I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace, @Coolio.”

“Peaceful journey brother,” Questlove tweeted.

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.