West Coast rapper, '90s icon and Grammy winner Coolio died on Wednesday at age 59, a loss that was met with an outpouring of tributes and condolences from his peers in the music industry and Hollywood. Among those paying their respects is Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred in one of Coolio's most famous music videos, "Gantsta's Paradise," after the song appeared in her film, Dangerous Minds.
"Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist Coolio," the actress wrote on Instagram. "A life cut entirely too short. As some of you may know I was lucky enough to work with him on Dangerous Minds in 1995. He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack — which I think was the reason our film saw so much success."
"Gangsta's Paradise" served as the lead single off the soundtrack Dangerous Minds, in which Pfeiffer stars as an ex-Marine-turned-teacher at an inner-city high school. She later appeared in the song's Antoine Fuqua-directed video, donning a leather jacket and sitting across from Coolio as he performs the track.
The video won the award for Best Rap Video at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, while the song itself topped the charts — remaining Coolio's highest-charting single — and won the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance that same year. (It was also nominated for Record of the Year.)
"30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song," Pfeiffer wrote. "Sending love and light to his family. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr."
Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., Coolio was a staple of '90s radio, with singles like "Fantastic Voyage" and "C U When U Get There." In addition to his music career, he popped up in a number of films over the years, with credits in Dear God (1996) and Batman & Robin (1997), in which he made a cameo as the DC villain Jonathan Crane, aka Scarecrow.
Coolio's manager, Jarez Posey, released a statement confirming his passing, saying, "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. Please have Coolio's loved ones in your thoughts and prayers."
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