“Gangsta Paradise “rapper Coolio has died at the age of 59
Gangsta Paradise rapper Coolio has died at the age of 59 Coolio, a rapper who was one of hip-hop’s biggest names in the 1990s with hits including “Gangsta Paradise ” and “Fantastic Voyage,” died Wednesday at age 59, his manager said.
Coolio, whose legal name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died at a friend’s home in Los Angeles, longtime manager Jarez Posey told The Associated Press. The cause was not immediately known.
Coolio won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” a hit from the 1995 soundtrack to Michelle Pfeiffer’s Dangerous Minds that used Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise.”
He was nominated for five more Grammy Awards during a career that began in the late 1980s.
Who was Coolio?
Born in Monsen, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh, Coolio moved to Compton, California, where he attended community college. Before devoting himself full-time to the hip-hop scene, he worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security.
His career began with the release of his debut album on Tommy Boy Records, It Takes a Thief in 1994. Its opening single, “Fantastic Voyage,” would reach No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
A year later, “Gangsta’s Paradise” became a #1 single, with dark opening lyrics:
“When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I look back on my life and realize that there isn’t much left, because I’m laughing so hard that even my mother thinks I’m out of my mind.”
— Ice Cube (@icecube) September 29, 2022