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‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio has died at the age of 59

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio has died at the age of 59

Grammy-winning rapper, producer and actor Coolio has been found dead.

The rapper - real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr - was aged 59.

The rapper’s longtime manager Jarel Posey confirmed the news to Variety, revealing that Coolio passed away at about 5pm local US time on September 28.

Posey told TMZ that Coolio was found unresponsive at a friend’s house.


Reports indicate that the rapper excused himself to go to the bathroom, with friends growing concerned when he didn’t come back.

TMZ reports that he was later found lying on the bathroom floor. 

Paramedics were called to the scene but unable to revive the unresponsive star. No official cause has yet been determined.


Coolio was best known for his 1995 hit 'Gangsta’s Paradise'.

He released the song on his first album It Takes A Thief in 1994, but it was the following year when it became a mega-hit.

The hit became one of the most iconic and popular rap songs of all time.

It topped the charts in 1995 for weeks and ended up becoming the number one single for that year.


It was nominated for record of the year and best rap solo performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards, with Coolio taking home the gong for the latter. 

Coolio and singer L.V in 1996 with their Grammy Awards. Barry King / Alamy
Coolio and singer L.V in 1996 with their Grammy Awards. Barry King / Alamy

The song also appeared on the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer movie Dangerous Minds. 

It was later spoofed by Weird Al Yankovic, who satirised it as ‘Amish Paradise’.


Coolio claimed he never gave Weird Al permission to rip the song, however the rapper later said that he and the comedy singer had made amends.

That wasn’t the only run-in Coolio had throughout the years. He also had several run-ins with the law. 

He was convicted in Germany back in 1999 for being an accessory to robbery and causing bodily injury, according to People at the time.

A scene from Coolio Rules, 2008. Credit: Vivian Zink/Oxygen /Alamy
A scene from Coolio Rules, 2008. Credit: Vivian Zink/Oxygen /Alamy

A decade later, in 2009, The Guardian reported on his arrest at Los Angeles International Airport after he was found to be in possession of crack cocaine. 

Then, in 2016, he was arrested at LAX again after a stolen and loaded gun was found by an X-ray scanner in his backpack as he and his entourage were gearing up to travel to a concert, the ABC reports. 

As well as his music career and rap sheet, Coolio also had several acting credits under his belt. 

Throughout the years he appeared in dozens of films and a string of reality shows including Cookin’ With Coolio and Coolio’s Rules.

He is survived by 10 children.

Featured Image Credit: Katja Ogrin / Alamy. Barry King / Alamy.

Topics: Music, US News, News

Rachel Lang
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