Coolion, "gangster paradise" rapper, dead at 59

Coolio, the rapper known for ’90s hip-hop anthems like “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died at 59.

Coolio during the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards show at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York, USA. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

Jeff Kravitz

The cause of death has not yet been confirmed. The news was confirmed by Coolio’s manager and longtime friend, Jarez.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. in 1963, Coolio shot to fame with his 1994 debut album “It Takes a Thief,” which included the hit song “Fantastic Voyage.”

He followed that up with his best-known album, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” in 1995. The album’s title track, bearing the same name, has been considered one of the most successful rap songs of all time, certified triple platinum by the RIAA. The song was featured in the hit feature film “Dangerous Minds”.

The song won Coolio the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1996, as well as the American Music Awards Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Artist the same year.

He continued to produce music until the release of his final studio album in 2009. Since then he has appeared in a number of films and television shows, often as himself.

More soon.


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