Musicians and celebrities pay tribute Cooliothe late rap star who was behind one of hip-hop’s biggest hits and whose own name would become shorthand for a good score.
According to for reports, Coolio was found dead on the bathroom floor of his friend’s house on Wednesday (September 28). First responders initially suspected he had suffered a cardiac arrest, but at the time of writing, an official cause of death has yet to be determined.
The American artist (real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr.) landed one of the all-time hip-hop standouts with “Gangsta’s Paradise”, a song that interpolates Stevie Wonder’s song “Pastime Paradise” from 1976 and featured in the film with Michelle Pfeiffer in the main role from 1995, Dangerous minds.
“Gangsta’s Paradise” was no ordinary hit. It went supernova everywhere. In Australia, the single led the national ARIA Chart for an unbroken 13 weeks in 1995 – a streak that stood until Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” ruled the survey for 14 consecutive weeks following its release in 2017.
The song’s enduring nature was confirmed when “Gangsta’s Paradise” joined YouTube in July of this year one billion views club.
The official music video won the Best Rap Video category at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, the same year it was named the best-selling single on Billboard’s year-end Billboard Hot 100 chart after spending 12 weeks in the top two spots ; it logged a total of 62 weeks on the chart, including 3 at No. 1 and 11 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs.
The track, one of Coolio’s six hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, would go on to win the Billboard Music Award for Single of the Year and a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
If everything in your life was “cool” in the 1990s, you were fine.
Tributes are pouring in for Coolio, including messages from the likes of Questlove, Ice Cube and Weird Al Yankovic, who parodied “Gangsta’s Paradise” with “Amish Paradise.”
See some of the reactions below on Twitter.