Artis Leon Ivey Jr. (August 1, 1963 – September 28, 2022), professionally known as Coolio, was a rapper from the United States.
Coolio rose to prominence as a member of the gangsta rap group WC and the Maad Circle before breaking out as a solo artist in the mid-to-late 1990s with his albums It Takes a Thief (1994), Gangsta’s Paradise (1995), and My Soul (1996). (1997).
He is best known for his Grammy Award-winning hit single “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was released in 1995, as well as other singles “Fantastic Voyage” (1994), “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)” (1996), and “C U When U Get There” (1997). (1997).
Coolio Net Worth 2022
Coolio’s net worth is estimated to be only $1.5 million.
Despite being regarded as an icon, Coolio has recently slipped under the radar following the release of his last studio album, “From the Bottom 2 the Top,” in 2009.
Coolio’s net worth is primarily determined by the value of his entire discography, which he is extremely proud of. He has released eight studio albums and two compilation albums. His classic albums include “It Takes a Thief,” “Gangsta’s Paradise,” and “My Soul.”
Coolio’s most well-known album is “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Despite being a member of the hip-hop community since the late 1980s, his sophomore album marked his official peak on the scene. The album’s title track, released in 1995, proved to be the most successful song in his entire career. In 1996, the song earned him his first and only GRAMMY for Best Rap Solo Performance.
Rapper Coolio Early Life
Coolio was born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. on August 1, 1963, in Compton, California. His mother, Jackie, worked in a factory, and his father, Artis Sr., was a carpenter; they divorced when Coolio was 11 years old. As a child, he was frequently forced to stay indoors due to asthma attacks, so he spent much of his time reading.
Coolio struggled to cope with his parent’s divorce, so as a teenager he joined the Baby Crips and began bringing weapons to school.
After being charged with larceny at the age of 17, he spent a few months in prison. Coolio attended Compton Community College and began participating in the local hip-hop scene, competing in contests such as “Coolio Iglesias,” which led to him being regularly featured on the Los Angeles radio station KDAY.
Because his music career was being hampered by drug addiction, he checked himself into a rehabilitation facility. While pursuing his rap career after rehab, Coolio worked as a firefighter and in airport security.
In the late 1980s, Coolio released the singles “Whatcha Gonna Do?” and “What Makes You Dance (Force Groove),” and in 1991, he joined the group WC and the Maad Circle, who released the album “Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed” later that year. In 1994, he was signed to Tommy Boy Records, and his first solo album, “It Takes a Thief,” was released in July of that year.
The album was certified Platinum in the United States and Gold in Canada, and the single “Fantastic Voyage” was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA and reached #3 on the “Billboard” Hot 100 chart. Coolio and R&B artist LV recorded the song “Gangsta’s Paradise” for the film “Dangerous Minds” in 1995.
The song was the best-selling single on the “Billboard” Hot 100 in 1995, earned Coolio a Grammy, and was included on “Billboard’s” Greatest Songs of All-Time list, as well as VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop and “NME” magazine’s 100 Best Songs Of The 1990s list.
Film and Television Career
Coolio made his acting debut in a 1995 episode of “The Parent ‘Hood,” and he appeared on “All That,” “Space: Above and Beyond,” Sabrina The Teenage Witch,” “Duckman,” “Muppets Tonight,” and “The Nanny” within the next three years.
He also sang the theme song for Nickelodeon’s “Kenan and Kel” (1996-2000), and he appeared in the films “Batman & Robin” (1997), “An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn” (1997), and “Belly” (1998). (1998). Coolio has also appeared on reality television shows such as “Fear Factor” (2001), “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” (2012), “Celebrity Wife Swap” (2013), and the British series “Celebrity Big Brother” (2009).
In 2008, he had a few of his own shows, including Oxygen’s “Coolio’s Rules” and My Damn Channel’s “Cookin’ with Coolio.” Coolio has recently appeared on the TV shows “BTS: American Hustle Life” (2014) and “Black Jesus” (2014), as well as lending his voice to Adult Swim’s “Squidbillies” (2017).
Coolio was married to Josefa Salinas from 1996 to 2000. He had six children with four different women. He was a spokesperson for Environmental Justice and Climate Change (along with saxophonist Jarez) and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
A federal court entered a default judgment against Coolio in 2013 after he was sued by a woman for jumping on her back and bull-riding her. Later that year, Coolio was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery after allegedly punching his three-year girlfriend in the face during an argument that erupted after he brought another woman home.
In 1998, he was sentenced to six months probation and ordered to pay a $17,000 fine after allegedly punching a store owner who tried to stop Coolio and his band from stealing nearly $1,000 in clothing. In 2016, he has sentenced to probation again after TSA agents at Los Angeles International Airport (where Coolio previously worked) discovered a loaded gun in his carry-on bag.
Awards and Nominations
Coolio received six Grammy nominations and won Best Rap Solo Performance for “Gangsta’s Paradise” in 1996.
That same year, he won an American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Artist, and he was nominated again in 1997.
Coolio was also nominated for six MTV Video Music Awards, winning three in 1996: Best Rap Video and Best Video from a Film for “Gangsta’s Paradise” and Best Dance Video for “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New).”