Coolio, Known For “Gangsta’s Paradise”, Dead at 59

September 29, 2022

By: Mariah Fritz

‘90s rapper Coolio, known for his hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage”, has died at the age of 59, according to his friend and manager Jarez Posey.

He died on Wednesday afternoon, Posey told CNN, and the details of the circumstances or cause of death are unknown. The Los Angeles Fire Department received a call from the 2900 block of South Chesapeake Ave. at 4 p.m. that reported a medical emergency. Once firefighters and paramedics arrived, they performed “resuscitation efforts for approximately 45 minutes” on an unresponsive male. Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department stated that Coolio “was determined dead just before 5:00 p.m.”

Coolio’s talent manager Sheila Finegan provided a statement for CNN, saying: “We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon. He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips shared his condolences and past memories with the artist, writing on Twitter: “I am absolutely stunned. Coolio was a friend and one of the warmest, funniest people I’ve ever met. We spent an amazing time together making Red Water in Capetown and we loved going head to head in the kitchen. He was one of a kind. Epic, Legendary, and I’ll miss him.”

Coolio was from Compton, California, and told the Los Angeles Times in 1994 that he initially struggled in the drug scene, but got himself out by pursuing a career as a firefighter. “I wasn’t looking for a career, I was looking for a way to clean up – a way to escape the drug thing,” he told LA Times. “It was going to kill me and I knew I had to stop. In firefighting training was discipline I needed. We ran every day. I wasn’t drinking or smoking or doing the stuff I usually did.”

Coolio’s career began in the ‘80s, but he gained massive attention through “Fantastic Voyage” in 1994. However, arguably his most famous song, “Gangsta’s Paradise” from the “Dangerous Minds” film soundtrack, made him become an even bigger rap star. He won a Grammy for the song in 1996. Since the release of the song on YouTube, “Gangsta’s Paradise” has garnered over one billion views—a huge milestone that the majority of artists cannot reach.

“It’s one of those kinds of songs that transcends generations,” he said in a recent interview with The Six O’Clock Show on Virgin Media One. “I didn’t use any trendy words…I think it made it timeless.”

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