Coolio, rapper famous for ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, dead at 59

Legendary 90s American rapper Coolio has died at the age of 59 after being believed to have suffered cardiac arrest, according to long-time manager Jarez Posey and Los Angeles paramedics.

The artist, most notably known for his all-time classic hit ‘Gangsta’s Paradise,’ was found unresponsive in a friend’s bathroom yesterday in Los Angeles around 5 pm. No exact cause of death was given, but Posey reported to TMZ that paramedics on the scene believed Coolio suffered cardiac arrest. After a reported 45 minutes worth of resuscitation attempts, the hip-hop icon was pronounced deceased.

Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr, was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in Compton, California. He began his musical career during the 80s, earning an audience in the underground hip-hop scene of California and ultimately gaining his first look at mainstream attention once his career-changing single ‘Fantastic Voyage’ released in 1994. After that, Ivey Jr. was on his way to becoming one of the faces of west-coast rap as he was known for his dark tones and heavy-hitting lyrics.

However, it was his genre-defining hit ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ in 1996 that cemented Coolio’s name in the hip-hop history books. Featured in the 1995 film ‘Dangerous Minds,’ the song would go on to become Coolio’s most successful release of his career, earning him a Grammy award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1996 and has now accumulated over 1 Billion streams.

“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon. He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.” – Sheila Finegan, Coolio talent manager, CNN

The Compton rapper sold over 17 million records and was currently on tour with fellow artists Vanilla Ice and Young MC. He not only put his stamp on the world of music but was a man of many talents as he also became a respectable actor and chef. According to his website, Coolio also served as a spokesman for the Asthma and Allergies Foundation.

Relive Coolio’s 1996 classic hit, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise,’ below.


Image Credit: Timothy Krause via Flickr | License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Hey everyone! I was blessed to have the opportunity to join the WRY team in 2020. I edit WRY's Youtube content and am also a writer for the website. I have been a massive fan in the EDM scene for over ten years and have been fortunate enough to see some iconic moments in person. Some of my favorite artists are Avicii, Martin Garrix, Krewella, The Chainsmokers, and KSHMR. I absolutely love to attend live shows. I try to spend almost every week at some kind of live event or festival (if not in person, at least watching online). And its a guarantee you can always catch me at Ultra Miami every year! Thank you for all the support! Follow me on Twitter to see which show I will be at next! Hopefully I can see you at an event or festival soon!

[email protected]