Rapper Coolio of ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ fame dies at 59 | Music News

American artist Coolio’s career album sales have totaled 4.8 million with 978 million on-demand streams of his songs, and he has been nominated for a Grammy Award six times.

Coolio, the rapper among the biggest names in 1990s hip hop with hits such as Gangsta’s Paradise and Fantastic Voyage, has died aged 59.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr, the entertainer died at a friend’s home in Los Angeles, longtime manager Jarez Posey said Wednesday. The cause of death was not immediately clear.

Coolio won a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance for Gangsta’s Paradise, the 1995 hit from the movie soundtrack, Dangerous Minds, which Michelle Pfeiffer starred in, which sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song Pastime Paradise. and played continuously on MTV.

In an interview more than 10 years later with British show The Voice, Coolio said he had “no idea” the song would last so many years.

“I didn’t write Gangsta’s Paradise – I wrote it,” he said. “It was its own entity, out there in the spirit world, trying to find its way out into the world, and it chose me as its vessel to pass through.”

The Grammy, and the height of its popularity, came in 1996 during a fierce feud between hip-hop communities on both American coasts that would claim the lives of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious BIG soon after.

Coolio managed to stay above the conflict most of the time.

The career takes off

Born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh, Coolio moved to Compton, California. He spent some time as a teenager in Northern California, where his mother sent him because she felt the town was too dangerous.

His career took off with the 1994 release of his debut album on Tommy Boy Records, It Takes a Thief. Its opening track, Fantastic Voyage, would hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. A year later, Gangsta’s Paradise would become a No. 1 single.

The rapper would never again have a song as big as Gangsta’s Paradise, but had later hits with 1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New) from 1996 and CU When U Get There from 1997.

His career album sales totaled 4.8 million with 978 million on-demand streams of his songs, according to Luminate, a music sales data provider. He would be nominated for six Grammys in total.

He then pursued an acting career, including landing a role in Batman and Robin in 1997 and making a number of television cameos, including on the hit 1990s show The Nanny.

He had occasional legal problems, including a 1998 conviction in Stuttgart, Germany, where a shop owner said he hit her when she tried to stop him from taking goods without paying . Coolio was sentenced to six months probation and fined $30,000.

He was married to Josefa Salinas from 1996 to 2000. They had four children together.

The world reacts

Celebrities and fans were quick to respond by posting their condolences on social media.

“This is sad news,” Ice Cube said on Twitter. “I have witnessed this man’s rise to the top of the industry first hand. Rest in peace, Coolio.

“Weird Al” Yankovic tweeted “RIP Coolio” along with a photo of the two men hugging.

Coolio stated in an interview at the time of its release that he was unhappy with Yankovic’s 1996 parody Gangsta’s Paradise, Amish Paradise. But the two later made peace.

Rapper Vanilla Ice said he was “freaking out” when he heard that his “good friend Coolio had passed away”.

Comments are closed.