May 20, 2024
"Gangsta's Paradise" singer Coolio has died at age 59, according to new reports.

Gangsta’s Paradise” singer Coolio has died at age 59, according to new reports.

The hip-hop star, whose legal name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was found dead by his friend in the bathroom, according to TMZ. First responders pronounced him dead at the scene when they arrived, suspecting cardiac arrest.

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Coolio
Coolio performs on day three of Riot Fest in Chicago.
Rob Grabowski/Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP

The singer shot to international fame with the release of his 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which claimed the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top 100. Though his other songs never reached the heights of that song, he also released such hits as “Fantastic Voyage,” “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New),” and “It’s All the Way Live (Now).”

His hit song’s legacy was cemented the following year when “Weird Al” Yankovic released a famous parody of the song, “Amish Paradise.” Coolio was originally angry with the song’s production but later found humor in it. He publicly apologized to and made up with Yankovic in later years, according to Yahoo News.

“I sat down, and I really thought it out,” he said. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute.’ I was like, ‘Coolio, who the f*** do you think you are? He did Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson didn’t get mad.'”

In later years, Coolio served as a long-shot vice presidential candidate in the 2020 election, running alongside porn star Cherie DeVille.

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He served as a spokesman for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, having suffered from asthma himself.

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