Grammy Award winning rapper and actor Coolio died suddenly September 28, 2022 at the Los Angeles home of a friend at the age of 59. An official cause of death is not known at this time.
While he is best known for the hit songs “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage”; Coolio has appeared in over 100 films and television productions.
Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr on August, 1, 1963 in Monessen, Pennsylvania, Artis moved to the California community of Compton to attend college. Prior to becoming an entertainer he was a volunteer fireman and worked in airport security.
His stage name Coolio stemmed from a joke by friends who compared him to Spanish singer Julio Iglesias.
He made his musical debut in 1994 with the debut album “It Takes a Thief” and the top five single “Fantastic Voyage”.
In 1995 he had his first number one single “Gangsta’s Paradise”. He has gone on to sell over 17 million albums around the world and perform on stages across the planet.
Diagnosed with asthma, Collio was a spokesman for the Asthma and Allergies Foundation.
Coolio’s music can be heard on nearly 100 different productions including “Poetic Justice”, “Clueless”, “Dangerous Minds”, “Space Jam”, the “Beavis and Butt-Head” television series, “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde”, and numerous music reality programs.
When it comes to acting, Coolio appeared in various music videos beginning in 1991, but his acting debut came in an episode of “Martin” in 1995. From there he appeared in some 100 productions and music videos including “All That”, “Space: Above and Beyond”, “Dangerous Minds”, “The Nanny”, “Charmed”, “Star-ving”, “Futurama”, and “Black Jesus”.
He is scheduled to appear in the production “Bobcat Moretti” which has completed filming. “It Wants Blood 2” is currently in production and “Vegas High” was in pre-production at the time of his death.
Along with his Grammy Award, Coolio has earned four gold records, two platinum records, and two multi-platinum records, an American Music Award, three MTV and three Video Music Awards, two Kids Choice Awards, a World Music Award, two Billboard Music Awards, two ASCAP Awards, and four American Online Awards.
When not making music or acting on the screen, Coolio can often be found in the kitchen recreating his mother’s old recipes.
Married and divorced, Coolio is survived by his children.
feature photo credit: Coolio at The Great GoogaMooga Festival (cropped).jpg