LOS ANGELES – “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper Coolio suffered an accidental death from the effects of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine last year, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported Thursday.
The county agency also cited cardiomyopathy, a disease that makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood to the body, as a “significant condition.” Investigators also determined Coolio’s severe asthma and cigarette smoking played a role in his death.
Coolio’s former longtime manager Jarez Posey also confirmed the cause of death Thursday.
Coolio — born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., on Aug. 1, 1963 — died at the Los Angeles home of a friend on Sept. 28, 2022. He was 59.
Coolio won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” the 1995 hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film “Dangerous Minds” that sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise."
Coolio was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, and later moved to Compton, California.
He started rapping at 15 and knew by 18 it was what he wanted to do with his life, he said in interviews. Coolio attended community college before devoting himself full-time to the hip-hop scene.
His career album sales totaled 4.8 million, with 978 million on-demand streams of his songs, according to Luminate. He was nominated for six Grammys.
With his distinctive persona, he became a cultural staple, acting occasionally, providing a voice for an animated show and providing the theme music for a Nickelodeon sitcom.
Coolio's estate plans to release a studio album later this year that he had been working on in the days before he died.