Famed rapper Coolio, who died at 59 years old late last September in Los Angeles, passed away from the effects of fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine, according to the Los Angeles County medical examiner.
The rapper, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died while visiting a friend after he went to use the bathroom and did not come back for a while, prompting the friend to go looking for him.
The New York Times reported that there were other “significant conditions” that contributed to his death, including asthma and cardiomyopathy. Coolio had battled drug addiction throughout his adult life, the report said.
TMZ reported that Coolio’s kids — Brandi, Jackie, Melan, Christopher, Artis III, Darius, and Artisha — are planning to make documentaries and films to honor their father.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Tens of thousands of Americans die of fentanyl overdoses every year.
“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” Coolio’s manager, Sheila Finegan, said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times after his passing. “He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly.”
“Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing,” she added. “Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”
Coolio went from growing up in tough conditions in Compton, California, to becoming a Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum recording artist, selling more than 17 million records worldwide.
Perhaps his most famous song was “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which helped launch him toward the top of the rap music scene.
Coolio’s website noted that the song won a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Rap Performance, Solo, and that it was featured on the “Dangerous Minds” soundtrack and movie.
The song “was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Song of the Year and it sold over six million copies and was Billboard Magazine’s number one single in 1995,” his site said. “The world recognition led to his music being featured Coolio for several major motion pictures including: Space Jam, Clueless, The Big Payback, Panther, New Jersey Drive, The Jerk Boys, Eddie, Half Baked and many more. He also composed the theme song for the popular kids TV series KENAN on Nickelodeon.”