LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Coolio, the Compton-raised rapper who achieved
international fame with the 1990s Grammy-winning single “Gangsta’s Paradise,”
died today in Los Angeles at age 59.
The rapper’s manager told TMZ.com that Coolio — whose real name was
Artis Leon Ivey Jr. — collapsed in a bathroom at a friend’s house. When he
didn’t come out of the bathroom, the friend went inside and found the rapper on
According to the website, paramedics were called but were unable to
revive him, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Born in Pennsylvania but raised in Compton, Coolio sold more than 17
million records during his career, powered largely by the 1995 smash.
Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was featured in the film “Dangerous Minds.” The
song earned him a Grammy for best solo rap performance and was nominated for
song of the year.
According to his official website, Coolio’s music was also featured in
films including “Space Jam,” “Clueless,” “The Big Payback” and “Half-
Baked.” He also wrote the theme song for the Nickelodeon series “Kenan &
Kel.” During his career, he collected an American Music Award, three MTV Music
Video awards, two Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, two Billboard Music and a
World Music award.
As an actor and portraying himself, he appeared in a variety of films
and television shows over the years, including “Martin,” “The Nanny” and
“Charmed.” He later appeared on reality shows including “Celebrity Big
Brother” and “Ultimate Big Brother,” and his talents as a chef led him to
appear on the reality TV show “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.”
In 2009, he released his own cookbook, “Cookin’ with Coolio: 5 Star
Meals at a 1 Star Price,” dubbing himself a “ghetto gourmet.” He also
appeared in a web series titled “Cookin’ with Coolio.”
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