By Nehru Odeh
Coolio, famous American rapper who shot to fame after releasing global hits such as “GangSta’s Paradise” and “C U When You Get There” has died at 59.
The rapper who achieved huge success in the 90s died on Wednesday 28 September in Los Angeles while visiting a friend.
Coolio’s longtime manager, Jarez, revealed that he was found dead in the bathroom, lying on the floor. According to Jarez, Coolio went to the bathroom at his friend’s house, but when he didn’t come after a while, the friend kept calling for him but there was no response. And eventually he went in and found him dead on the floor.
The friend called EMTs, who arrived and pronouced Coolio dead. According to Jarez, paramedics suspect he suffered cardiac arrest. An official cause of death has not been confirmed.
Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., came up on the Los Angeles rap scene in the late 80# buy blew up globally in 1995 when he released “Gangsta’s Paradise” for the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film, “Dangerous Minds.”
The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for three weeks.
Paradise became his signature hit, including 1994’s “Fantastic Voyage”, which hit #3 on Billboard’s 100, as well as “1,2,3,4 (Sumotin’ New)” and “It’s All the Way Live (Now)”
GangSta’s Paradise became one of the most successful rap songs of all time. Aside topping on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, it was the No.1 single of 1995 in the United States for all genres.
And was a global hits topping the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand charts.
It was the second-best-selling of 1995 in the UK. At the 1996 Grammy Awards, the song won Coolio a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
“GangSta’s Paradise” opened the way for Coolio’s search for stardom. It was not meant to be included on one of Coolio’s studio album, but its success led to Coolio not only putting it on his next album but also making it the title track.
The song interpolates the chorus and music of the song “Pastime Paradise” by Stevie Wonder, which was recorded nearly 20 years earlier.
“GangSta’s Paradise” was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA and sold more than 2 million copies globally.
Coolio was born on August 1 1963 in Monessen Pennsylvania and later moved to Crompton, California. After attending Compton Community College, he worked as volunteer firefighter and security at the Los Angeles International Airport before becoming a rapper.
Coolio married Josefas Salinas inn1996 and they divorced in 2000. He had six children.