American Rappers Pays Tribute As ‘Coolio’ Dies At 59😢

Coolio, the ’90s rapper who gave the world hit songs like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” has died at 59.

Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr, won a Grammy for the 1995 track Gangsta’s Paradise.

His friend and manager Jarez Posey, told CNN that Coolio died Wednesday afternoon.

He was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s LA house, Posey told US media.

However, details on the circumstances were not immediately available and the exact cause of death has not been disclosed.

But Posey told TMZ, which first reported the news, that paramedics believed he may have had a cardiac arrest.

When contacted by CNN, Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that firefighters and paramedics responded to a call on the 2900 block of South Chesapeake Ave. at 4 p.m. local time for reports of a medical emergency. When they arrived, they found an unresponsive male and performed “resuscitation efforts for approximately 45 minutes.”

The patient “was determined dead just before 5:00 p.m.,” Scott said.

“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” a statement provided to CNN from Coolio’s talent manager Sheila Finegan said.

“He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips also offered his condolences as he recounted some memories with the artist.

“I am absolutely stunned. Coolio was a friend and one of the warmest, funniest people I’ve ever met. We spent an amazing time together making Red Water in Capetown and we loved going head to head in the kitchen. He was one of a kind. Epic,Legendary and I’ll miss him,” Phillips said in a tweet.

Coolio grew up in Compton, California, according to a bio on his official website.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 1994, he recalled falling into the drug scene but getting himself out by pursuing a career as a firefighter.

“I wasn’t looking for a career, I was looking for a way to clean up – a way to escape the drug thing,” he told the publication. “It was going to kill me and I knew I had to stop. In firefighting training was discipline I needed. We ran every day. I wasn’t drinking or smoking or doing the stuff I usually did.”

His rap career began in the ’80s, and he gained fame in the underground scene.

“Fantastic Voyage” was the first song that really put him on the map.

Arguably his biggest song, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” from the soundtrack to the film “Dangerous Minds,” grew his star power to gigantic proportions. He won a Grammy in 1996 for the song.

In the age of streaming, it has continued to live on. In July 2022, the song reached a milestone one billion views on YouTube.

“It’s one of those kinds of songs that transcends generations,” he said in a recent interview. “I didn’t use any trendy words…I think it made it timeless.”

Over his career, Coolio sold more than 17 million records, according to his website.

Stars including Michelle Pfeiffer and Snoop Dogg have been paying tribute to the late US rapper.

Pfeiffer said she thought Coolio’s track was the “reason our film saw so much success” and that she still gets “chills” whenever she hears it, BBC reports.

“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist Coolio,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a clip from the famous music video, which sees her sitting across the table from Coolio as he raps.

“A life cut entirely too short,” she continued. “I remember him being nothing but gracious.”

Dangerous Minds saw Pfeiffer play an ex-Marine who becomes a teacher working on a pilot programme for teenagers who are bright but underachieving, in a tough, inner-city school.

Snoop Dogg shared a picture of the two posing on the set of the music video for Gangsta Walk, a track they collaborated on in 2006.

Fellow rapper and actor Ice Cube said: “This is sad news. I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry,” while Vanilla Ice tweeted: “I’m freaking out I just heard my good friend Coolio passed away.”

Rapper MC Hammer described Coolio as “one of the nicest dudes I’ve known”.

“Good people. RIP Coolio,” he wrote, sharing a black and white picture of the rapper, and later posting a second picture of the pair together, along with Tupac and Snoop Dogg.

Oscar-winning musician Questlove simply tweeted: “Peaceful Journey Brother.”

Rapper Flavor Flav said he and Coolio had been due to “perform together this Tuesday”, saying his friend was “the West Coast Flavor Flav… He loved telling everyone that.”


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