Wednesday, May 22, 2024

RIP Coolio, 59, Dies on 46th Anniversary of Release of Stevie Wonder Song That Made Him Famous


So sad to hear about Coolio, the 90s rapper, dying at age 59. He was a really nice guy who often performed at charity events and had an affable way about him.

Reports are that Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died at a friend’s Los Angeles home from cardiac arrest.

In 1995, Coolio and producer singer L.V. (Larry Sanders) took Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” and reworked it into “Gangster’s Paradise.” The song was included in the soundtrack to the Michelle Pfeiffer movie “Dangerous Minds,” and took off as a hit.

“Pastime Paradise” was released exactly 46 years ago on the album “Songs in the Key of Life.” I am not making this up.

What they did we now call an “interpolation.” It worked because the writers made it their own, and it fit in the movie. The new track hit a nerve, and Coolio lived on it for the last almost 30 years. He had a couple of other hits but Coolio- with his trademark helicopter style wings style hair cut — made a place for himself in pop history. He leaves behind six children according to Wikipedia.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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