Coolio, a rapper and actor who created Grammy-winning songs including “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage” in the 1990s, has died at the age of 59, according to EW.
According to Coolio’s manager Jarez Posey, who first broke the news of the musician’s death to TMZ, the singer had entered a friend’s washroom. Coolio was later discovered deceased on the floor.
Sheila Finegan, Coolio’s manager at Trinity Artists International, told Entertainment Weekly, We are heartbroken by the passing of our beloved friend and client, Coolio, who went away this afternoon.
His genius, which he shared with the rest of the world, will be missed. Thank you to everyone who has heard his music and reached out to us about his death from all around the world. Please keep Coolio’s family in your thoughts and prayers.
Coolio’s breakout single “Fantastic Voyage” from his debut album, It Takes a Thief” in 1994 helped begin his career. Coolio was born in 1963 as Artis Leon Ivey Jr.
“Fantastic Voyage,” which substantially copied Lakeside’s 1981 song of the same name, went platinum; Coolio appeared in a commercial for Chrysler’s Pacifica minivan in 2018.
Coolio’s hit song “Gangsta’s Paradise” was used on the soundtrack for the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds in 1995. In the process, he sampled Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise.”
It was one of the most popular rap songs of all time, spending three weeks at the top of the charts in 1995 and winning the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1996.
The song has appeared on various “best of the ’90s” lists throughout the years and remains one of the most well-known, even among Generation Z fans.
Coolio’s second studio album, Gangsta’s Paradise, preceded the soundtrack of Dangerous Minds, which went on to become his best-selling album to date, selling two million copies and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album.
Despite having released eight studio albums by 2009, Coolio would fail to replicate the success of “Gangsta’s Paradise.” He also dabbled in acting, appearing in films and TV shows such as Martin, The Nanny, Celebrity Big Brother, and All That. Coolio famously performed the Kenan & Kel theme song.