Grammy-winning rapper Coolio dead at 59

Coolio has died at the age of 59. File Photo/Rune Hellestad)
1 of 3 | Coolio has died at the age of 59. File Photo/Rune Hellestad) | License Photo

Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Grammy-winning rapper Artis Leon Ivey Jr. -- who performed under the name Coolio -- has died at the age of 59.

Ivery is best known for his iconic song, "Gangsta's Paradise," which appeared on the soundtrack of the 1995 Michelle Pfeiffer film, Dangerous Minds.


Weird Al Yankovic also famously parodied the song as "Amish Paradise."

Ivery's manager Jarez Posey confirmed his Wednesday death to Deadline and TMZ, saying the hip-hop star was found unresponsive in the bathroom of a friend's house.

Cardiac arrest is suspected, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the official cause of his death.

Ivery's other hits include "Fantastic Voyage," "1,2,3,4 (Sumpin' New)," "It's All the Way Live (Now)" and "C U When U Get There."

The artist also wrote and performed "Aw, Here It Goes," the theme song for Kenan & Kel, a sitcom starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell.

He performed in South America and Europe over the summer and took the stage at a concert in Chicago last week.


Ivery also appeared on the reality shows Coolio's Rules, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, Wife Swap and Big Brother. He was the author of the cookbook, Cookin' with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price, too.

"This is sad news. I witness first hand this man's grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio," rapper Ice Cube posted on Twitter.

"Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio," Pfeiffer wrote on Instagram.

"A life cut entirely too short. As some of you may know I was lucky enough to work with him on Dangerous Minds in 1995. He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack -- which I think was the reason our film saw so much success. I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song. Sending love and light to his family. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr."

"Peaceful Journey Brother. #Coolio," said musician and filmmaker Questlove.

"Oh man!!! RIP Coolio! Loved your music....too soon," said Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis.

"I am absolutely stunned," tweeted actor Lou Diamond Phillips. "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.


"Rest In Peace Coolio! A true legend and nice man. My heart goes out to your family and friends. So glad we got to hang and have some laughs," said comedian Rob Schneider.

Notable Deaths of 2022

Notable Deaths of 2022

Anita Pointer
Anita Pointer of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters stands with Andy Madadian (C) and La Toya Jackson (L) as Madadian is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020. Pointer, who performed alongside her sisters June and Ruth, died at the age of 74 on December 31 following a battle with cancer. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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