Michelle Pfeiffer, the prolific movie star of the 80s and 90s, has hailed Coolio as a “gracious man” whose megahit “Gangsta’s Paradise” propelled the success of one of her own films, Dangerous minds.
Coolio was found dead on the bathroom floor of his friend on Wednesday (September 28), aged 59. Paramedics initially suspect he suffered a cardiac arrest, reports claim, although an official cause of death has yet to be released.
Pfeiffer joined the chorus of tributes to Coolio, whose career briefly crossed hers and created dynamite at the box office and on sales charts around the globe.
“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist Coolio. A life cut far too short,” she writes on social media.
“As some of you may know, I was lucky enough to work with him Dangerous minds in 1995. He won a Grammy for his brilliant singing on the soundtrack – which I think is why our film was so successful. I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later, I still get chills when I hear the song.”
She’s not the only one still moved by the song. In July of this year, the official music video for “Gangsta’s Paradise” passed the milestone of one billion streams on YouTube.
Pfeiffer had that cut in her Dangerous minds character Louanne Johnson, and won the Best Rap Video category at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.
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 for Best Rap Solo Performance.
The single interpolates Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise” and was deemed the best-selling single on Billboard’s Billboard Hot 100 chart at the end of the year 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 survey.
Dangerous mindswhich observes the daily life of Johnson, a former Marine who now teaches at a rough inner-city school, grossed more than $179 million worldwide on a budget of about $22 million, according to IMDB.
“Sending love and light to his family,” Pfeiffer signs off. “Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr.”