Artis Leon Ivey Jr, popularly known as Coolio was an American rapper and actor who was regarded as one of the most prominent and mediatic rap exponents of the 1990s. Coolio first appeared on the LA rap scene in the late 1980s and made his professional debut in 1994 with the professional album “It Takes a Thief.”
He rose to stardom with his single “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was featured in John N. Smith’s 1995 film Dangerous Minds. The song boosted his popularity and earned him the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1996.
He was also well-known for his other singles, including “Fantastic Voyage” (1994), “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)” (1996), and “C U When U Get There” (1997).
Coolio has released records independently since 1996 and has also become a chef, creating a web series titled Cookin’ with Coolio and publishing a cookbook. Coolio died at the age of 59 on September 28, 2022, while at a friend’s house, apparently of a heart attack.
What is Coolio’s Net Worth?
|Net Worth||$1.5 Million|
|Age||59 Years Old|
|Annual Salary||$250,000 Per Year|
Artis Leon Ivey was born on August 1, 1963, to carpenter Artis Leon Ivey Sr. and factory worker Jackie Slater. Coolio had asthma and was intelligent, studious, and well-informed, but he found life outside the home tough.
He joined the Baby Crips street gang and wanted to portray a wild and aggressive image of himself by carrying guns to school, which disrupted his studies, and was jailed for several months for larceny.
After high school, he attended Compton Community College and revived his high school passion for rap, performing in contests such as ‘Coolio Iglesias.’ and on L.A.’s rap radio station, KDAY.
He went to rehab to overcome his cocaine addiction, which had damaged his growing career as a rapper. When he first came out, he did odd jobs but was determined to restart his rap career.
Coolio released two songs in 1987, ‘Watch Gonna Do’ and ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me.’ Four years later, he joined the band WC, and the Maad Circle.
His debut solo album, ‘It Takes a Thief,’ was released in 1994, and featured the breakthrough single ‘Fantastic Voyage,’ which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as smaller successes such as ‘County Line’ and ‘I Remember.’
In 1995, he released an album titled ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ to capitalize on the success of ‘Gangsta’s Paradise which remained at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 3 weeks and also was a No.1 hit in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. ‘1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)’ and ‘Too Hot’ were two big singles from this double platinum album.
Despite having officially left the band, WC and the Maad Circle, he contributed to their second album, ‘Curb Servin’, in 1995, and was included in the track, ‘On a Twist.’
In 1996, he appeared on the soundtracks of two movies, ‘Eddie’ and ‘Space Jam’, performing ‘It’s All the Way Live (Now)’ and ‘Hit ’em High’ (with four other rappers).
In 1996, he contributed the single ‘I Breaks ‘Em Off’ to Red Hot Organization’s critically praised collection CD, ‘America is Dying Slowly,’ and recorded the theme song for the TV show, Kenan & Kel.
His platinum-certified 1996 album, ‘My Soul,’ had the mega-hit single ‘C U When U Get There,’ but it underperformed expectations, and Tommy Boy Records canceled his contract.
Between 2001 and 2008, he released four albums, ‘Coolio.com,’ ‘El Cool Magnifico,’ ‘The Return of the Gangsta,’ and ‘Steal Hear,’ none of which succeeded.
He was also a regular performer at Psychopathic Records’ annual festival, The Gathering of the Juggalos. The event lasts five days and attracts around 107,000 music fans each year.
In 2013, he stated his intention to pursue his chef career by auctioning 123 of his songs. In 2014, he shared the stage with Goast, Jarel, and DJ Locomotive in Ketchum, Idaho.
In 2019, he appeared on the track “Escape Wagon” by Irish rap trio Versatile and later on the track “Coolio Interlude” on their 2021 album, Fuck Versatile.
Television and Film Appearances
Apart from his music career, Coolio had also embarked on his career in Television and films. In 2002, Coolio was featured on the television show Celebrity Fear Factor as El Cool Magnifico’ where he won the Celebrity Boot Camp that year.
In 2004, Coolio appeared as a contestant on Comeback – Die große Chance which was a German talent show featuring artists looking for a comeback. In 2008, he co-hosted Cookin’ with Coolio, an online culinary show for the website My Damn Channel with jazz artist Jarez.
Coolio appeared on the television show Celebrity Big Brother in 2009. The following year, he appeared on Ultimate Big Brother but was kicked out for inappropriate behavior with his housemates.
He then finished second in the Food Network reality series Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off in 2012 where he represented the Music Saves Lives Organization earning $10,000 and appeared on the ABC reality show, Wife Swap in 2013.
He came in second place on the UK game show Tipping Point: Lucky Stars in 2013, alongside comedian Jenny Eclair and Emmerdale star Matthew Wolfenden. Coolio also voiced a wax figure of himself in Gravity Falls the same year.
Coolio has also made several guest appearances on tv series such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Nanny, and Black Jesus as well as films such as Daredevil, Nina Fintech Rap Battle: Monzo VS Starling, Dracula 3000, and Midnight Mass, among various others.
Awards and Nominations
- Coolio won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance for the tune ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ in 1996, out of a total of six nominations.
- That year, Coolio won the American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Artist.
- Coolio won 3 MTV Video Music Awards in 1996, for Best Rap Video, Best Video from a Film, and Best Dance Video for ‘1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New),’ out of a total of six nominations.
Coolio had 10 children from relationships with several women but he hasn’t always been an ideal role model for his children. In 2013, Coolio was charged with violence after hitting his girlfriend. Coolio married Josefa Salinas in 1996, but the pair divorced in 2000.
Coolio’s illustrious career was hampered by multiple well-publicized run-ins with the law. In 1998, a German court sentenced him to six months probation and fined him $17,000 for being an offender of robbery and committing bodily harm. In 2009, he was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for carrying crack cocaine.
Later that year, in 2016, he was arrested at the same airport for allegedly trying to sneak a loaded firearm through security. Coolio received a three-year probation sentence and 45 days of community service.
Coolio was denied entrance into Singapore after landing at Changi International Airport the next year while traveling from Beijing to Singapore to perform at a Formula One concert event.
Coolio had been involved in a number of charitable endeavors, including the first hip-hop benefit project for HIV/AIDS with the Red Hot Foundation in 1996, when he released an album with peers to raise funds and awareness about the disease in Black communities.
Coolio donated $10,000 to the Music Saves Lives organization that he won on Food Network’s Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.
He also campaigned for those suffering from respiratory disorders throughout his life, despite having asthma his whole life. He claimed in 2016 that he “might have died” after needing to borrow an inhaler from an audience member during a concert due to an asthma episode.
Coolio was also the Democratic presidential running mate for pornographic star Cherie DeVille in 2008.
How Did Coolio Die?
Jarez, Coolio’s manager, told TMZ that the rapper was at a friend’s house in Los Angeles when he excused himself to use the restroom. When he did not return after a fair amount of time, his friend called him but he did not answer.
Coolio was found on the floor and declared dead at the scene following a suspected heart attack. Coolio’s official cause of death, however, is still unknown.
Coolio Net Worth
As of 2022, Coolio’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million. Coolio received $23,227 in royalties annually for Gangsta’s Paradise and earned between $134,000 and $225,000 per year for his 123 songs.
Aside from earnings through his music, Coolio has appeared in more than 25 films and television shows over his career. However, prior to the release of Gangsta’s Paradise, Coolio gained widespread praise for his debut solo album, ‘It Takes a Thief’ through Tommy Boy Records.
Coolio has had numerous hit singles throughout his career, but none have become as well-known as Gangsta’s Paradise, which was the top single in the U. S. across all categories in 1995 and also topped the charts in a dozen European countries, including the U.K, France, and Germany. Coolio also owned multiple houses all over the world as well as various expensive cars including a 1996 Hummer H2.