Coolio, the US rapper best known for the 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise”, died last year from an accidental fentanyl overdose, the Los Angeles County Coroner said on Thursday. The Grammy-winning musician, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr, died in September 2022 at a friend’s house in Los Angeles.
At the time of his death at the age of 59, the rapper was suffering from heart disease and asthma, and had recently taken phencyclidine, or PCP — a psychedelic drug that can cause severe mental or emotional disorders, the Los Angeles County Coroner said in a report.
Coolio’s friend and long-time manager Jarez Posey told celebrity news website TMZ at the time that Coolio had been found unresponsive in a friend’s bathroom and pronounced dead at the scene. The rapper began his career in California in the late 1980s, but rose to global prominence in 1995 when he released “Gangsta’s Paradise” for the soundtrack of the film “Dangerous Minds.”
He was awarded Best Rap Solo Performance for the track at the following year’s Grammy Awards ceremony. The song sold millions of copies worldwide, topping pop charts in 16 countries and becoming Billboard’s top song for 1995. – AFP