Gangsta's Paradise star Coolio dies, aged 59

Rapper Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr, has passed away at the age of 59, his manager Jarez Posey confirmed in the early hours of this morning.

I hope I got you through some good times and got you through some bad times


Coolio, best known for mega-hit Gangsta's Paradise, died at a friend's house, Posey told media. No cause of death has been confirmed at this time, though Posey also said, "As far as what I know now is that he was at a friend’s house and was in his bathroom and had a heart attack," according to various outlets.

This year, Gangsta's Paradise exceeded one billion views on YouTube. He said at the time, "I want to thank everybody for all the years of love and being there for me. I hope I got you through some good times and got you through some bad times."

Coolio in 1996

(Image credit: Frans Schellekens / Getty)

Coolio's career first gained traction with 1994 album It Takes A Thief and hit single Fantastic Voyage. In 1995 Gangsta's Paradise took this to another level.

Taken from the soundtrack of Michelle Pfeiffer movie vehicle Dangerous Minds the track, based around a sample of Stevie Wonder's Pastime Paradise, won him a Grammy for Best Rap Performance, one of six nominations he received throughout his career.

Ice Cube was amongst those to pay tribute, writing "This is sad news. I witness first hand this man's grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace." Michelle Pfeiffer posted, "A life cut entirely too short... I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years late I still get chills when I hear the song (Gangsta's Paradise)."

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Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.