Coroner: Rapper Coolio Died from Fentanyl, Other Drugs

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The September death in Los Angeles of Coolio, the Compton-raised rapper who achieved international fame with the 1990s Grammy- winning single "Gangsta's Paradise," was due to the effects of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine, the coroner's office announced Thursday.

Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., collapsed while at a friend's house on Sept. 28 and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 59.

The Los Angeles County coroner's report also noted that the rapper was suffering from heart disease and asthma and had recently used phencyclidine, or PCP. The coroner's office deemed his death accidental.

Born in Pennsylvania on Aug. 1, 1963, but raised in Compton, Coolio sold more than 17 million records during his career, powered largely by the 1995 smash "Gangsta's Paradise," which was featured in the film "Dangerous Minds." The song earned him a Grammy for best solo rap performance and was nominated for song of the year.

In July 2022, the song reached a milestone 1 billion views on YouTube.

Before his music career took off, he went to community college and worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security before putting his full attention into hip-hop.

He gained fame first in the underground rap scene in the 1980s, and his song "Fantastic Voyage" earned him attention in the music industry.

He earned six Emmy Award nominations during his career.

According to his official website, Coolio's music was also featured in films including "Space Jam," "Clueless," "The Big Payback" and "Half- Baked." He also wrote the theme song for the Nickelodeon series "Kenan & Kel." During his career, he collected an American Music Award, three MTV Music Video awards, two Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, two Billboard Music and a World Music award.

As an actor and portraying himself, he appeared in a variety of films and television shows over the years, including "Martin," "The Nanny" and "Charmed." He later appeared on reality shows including "Celebrity Big Brother" and "Ultimate Big Brother," and his talents as a chef led him to appear on the reality TV show "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off."

In 2009, he released his own cookbook, "Cookin' with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price," dubbing himself a "ghetto gourmet." He also appeared in a web series titled "Cookin' with Coolio."

He had a show on Oxygen, "Coolio Rules," in 2008.

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