Coolio was a Grammy Award-winning rapper, producer and actor best known for his 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which topped the pop charts internationally and achieved multi-platinum status. Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. in Los Angeles, California on August 1, 1963, Coolio began his professional rap career as a member of WC and the MAAD Circle, appearing on the group’s debut album Ain’t a Damn Thang Changed and their single “Dress Code” as well as Ice Cube’s posse cut “Color Blind” alongside WC in 1991.
Coolio released his debut major label solo single “County Line” in 1993 before releasing his 1994 debut album It Takes a Thief, which also featured his breakthrough hit single “Fantastic Voyage.” His second album, Gangsta’s Paradise, was released in 1995 and featured the Grammy Award-winning title track as well as the single “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New).” His third album, 1997’s My Soul featured the single “C U When U Get There.” After releasing his first three albums on Tommy Boy Records, Coolio released his subsequent projects independently.
Coolio has appeared in several television and film projects, starred in his own reality show with Coolio’s Rules, and he had a career as a chef, releasing multiple cookbooks and hosting the web series Cookin' with Coolio.
On September 28, 2022, Coolio passed away in Los Angeles. Although the cause of death is unknown, it is suspected to be a cardiac arrest. He was 59 years old at the time of his death.