Coolio Death and Obituary – Grammy Award Winning Rapper Dead; Discovered Working on New Music with Irish Singer Christy Dignam Before His Death
Coolio was in the process of making new music before his death. During an interview with The Irish Examiner published in July, the late rapper — who died Wednesday at age 59 — shared he was working on a collaboration with Christy Dignam of the Irish rock band Aslan.
“We’ve just got into it. We’re working on a track. We haven’t even started writing any lyrics. The track is being built as we speak. Somewhere within the next four to six weeks we should have something tangible we could work with,” he said this summer.
“It’s probably going to be a banger, I would imagine. I don’t know if it’s going to be dark and deep or if we’re going to go clubby and happy — that remains to be seen. I’m more inclined with being dark and deep and still being a banger,” he continued.
In the interview, Coolio — born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. — also reflected on the success of his hit 1995 single “Gangsta’s Paradise,” featuring singer L.V. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 1996 Grammys.
“You make music and you never think about what it’s going to do and what it’s not going to do,” he said at the time. “This is the amazing thing about ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ and I’m proud of it. It only got put up on YouTube on Tommy Boy [the hip hop platform] four years ago. It reached a billion views in four years.”
“I reached a billion the same week 50 Cent reached a billion with ‘In Da Club’. It took ‘In Da Club’ 17 years to reach a billion. It took me four,” he added.
Coolio’s longtime manager, Jarez Posey, confirmed to PEOPLE that the rapper died Wednesday in Los Angeles.
According to TMZ, who was first to report the news, Posey said the late musician went to the bathroom at a friend’s house. When he didn’t come out, the friend called his name but he didn’t answer. They then found Coolio on the floor.
The friend called for help, per the outlet, and once responders arrived, Coolio was pronounced dead. The rapper’s cause of death has not been publicly shared.
Born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, in 1963, Coolio later moved to Compton, California, where he attended Compton Community College before becoming a rapper.
In addition to eight studio albums, he also appeared in the reality show Coolio’s Rules on Oxygen in 2008 and provided the opening track “Aw, Here It Goes!” for the Nickelodeon television series Kenan & Kel.
He made additional television appearances, including on Celebrity Big Brother in 2009 and on Ultimate Big Brother in 2010. He also created the web series Cookin’ with Coolio and released a cookbook titled Cookin’ with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price.