Coolio, the Grammy-winning rapper best known for the 1995 single “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died, his manager confirmed Wednesday. Hey what 59.
“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” Sheila Finegan said in a statement to The Times. “He shocked the world with the gift of his talent and he will be sorely missed.
“Thank you to everyone who has listened to his music around the world and everyone who has reached out regarding his passing. Keep Coolio’s loved ones in his thoughts and prayers.”
The musician was found unresponsive Wednesday afternoon on the bathroom floor at a friend’s house, manager Jarez Posey said. TMZ, who first reported the news. The official cause of death has not been determined, but cardiac arrest is suspected, Posey told the website.
Finegan said no additional details were being released at this time.
Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was born on August 1, 1963, and grew up in Compton. Throughout his career, he was many things: musician, reality star, chef and cookbook author, and, for a moment, the potential mayor of his hometown.
In the early ’90s, years after releasing his first single, “Whatcha Gonna Do,” in 1987, Coolio began building his network in the Los Angeles rap scene, collaborating with hip-hop group WC and Maad Circle. . In 1994, he debuted his first album, “It Takes a Thief”, which promoted his debut hit “Fantastic Voyage”.
“It Takes a Thief” set the stage for the rapper’s second album, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” in 1995. The title track climbed the charts to become Billboard’s No. 1 song. 1 single from 1995 and sold over 6 million copies. She transcended the media and landed a spot in the 1995 film “Dangerous Minds,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Courtney B. Vance and George Dzundza.
“’Gangsta’s Paradise’ shows that this pop-friendly rapper is no one-hit wonder,” The Times wrote in its review of the album. “Paradise, his most mature work to date, goes beyond the apathy, anger and hopelessness that most post-NWA rap groups have institutionalized. While Coolio certainly doesn’t shy away from these tough topics (the title track is perhaps the most depressing crossover pop hit ever), he also uses the narrative side of his poetic gift to demonstrate that there’s more to life in the barrio than cars. and drug deals: there are people who live normal lives.”
The album gave Coolio Awards credibility, earning the rapper his first Grammy nominations in 1996. He won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance. That year he married Josefa Salinas. They divorced in 2000.
Adding to his mid-’90s fame, Coolio created the theme song for Nickelodeon’s “Kenan & Kel,” starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell.
In 1997 he released his third album, “My Soul”. The Times said that “many of the songs show that, despite his success, he cares deeply about his position as a rapper and spokesman.”
“The best songs are the ones where Coolio takes on the mask of different sides of society and looks inward,” wrote Cheo Hodari Coker. “Whether it’s showcasing the guilt and paranoia of a hustler in ‘Knight Falls’ or an all-encompassing hope for peace, compassion and a better life with ‘CU When You Get There,’ Coolio proves himself to be an artist still worth his salt. worth listening to. [to.]”
Coolio told The Times in 1998 that in 10 years he wanted to run for mayor of Compton.
“If I became a politician, I would probably be killed, because I wouldn’t take any bribes, I wouldn’t compromise my integrity and I wouldn’t cheat,” he said.
Instead of pursuing those political aspirations, Coolio found himself 10 years later on a reality series about Oxygen, “Coolio’s Rules.” The six-episode series starred him, his family, and Posey. The turn to reality TV was unexpected for the Grammy winner, but he said it wasn’t “a midlife crisis.”
“I think I already had my midlife crisis. I’ve been divorced for about eight years,” she said during the show’s Television Critics Association. presentation in 2008. “I still have trust issues with women. Let’s put it this way, my ex-wife stole from me. I feel comfortable being 44 years old. I really am.”
Her time in the television spotlight also extended to “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2009, “Ultimate Big Brother” in 2010, and “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” in 2012. In 2014, she guest-starred on Gangsta’s Paradise. Adult Swim’s “Black Jesus” episode.
The rapper was arrested in September 2016 at Los Angeles International Airport after authorities found a stolen, loaded firearm in his handbag at a security checkpoint. He avoided jail time, getting three years of probation and 45 days of community service in his place, by pleading guilty to possession of a concealed weapon.
He told reporters outside the courtroom that he was confident he could follow the rules of probation, saying, “I don’t commit crimes and I don’t get into anything illegal, so it should be easy.” He said it was all a misunderstanding: “I do not condone the use of legal or illegal firearms. I was very worried.”
In 2020, Coolio released a remaster of “Gangsta’s Paradise”, 25 years after its first release. In recent years he has performed in Australia, Denmark, Germany and Sweden.
He is survived by 10 children. He was married only once, to Salinas.